08/30/2011, 00.00
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Last day of Ramadan, Muslims and Christians must seek dialogue

by Nirmala Carvalho
For Fr Victor Edwin, an expert on relations between Islam and Christianity, the strength of the Muslims to face the fast, braving the scorching heat and humidity, shows "a deep sense of God." In India, the two communities must work together to defend the country, following the example of the "Arab Spring" revolutions.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) - ". Gratitude is the appropriate word to define the mind and heart of a fasting Muslim ", says Jesuit Father Victor Edwin, a doctoral student in Christian-Muslim Relations at the University Jamia Millia, New Delhi, on the conclusion (Eid al-Fitr), today, of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. According to the Jesuit, it is even more urgent for Christians and Muslims to dialogue, especially in light of the "Arab Spring".

" Fasting during summer months in India is not an easy task - said Fr Edwin - the scorching heat and sweltering humidity would test the spirit of fasting men and women. It really affects one's body and spirit. But they remain strong in their resolve to do what God commands in the Qur'an. They patiently wait for iftar. Witnessing to this I could not but think: Yes, they fast from sunrise to sunset just live a life of surrender to God's will. As they pray silently before the iftar they are grateful to God for the month of Ramadan and Allah's guidance for humanity. "

For the Jesuit editor of Islamic studies magazine "Salaam", what is most striking about seeing them in prayer (salat), shoulder to shoulder, is the "feeling of a deep sense of God. John Paul II, inviting people from different religions to come together in prayer, defended his proposal from the criticism, saying 'everything that unites us is divine, all that divides us is not'. "

Even for India, where Muslims and Christians are a minority compared to the Hindus, Fr. Edwin points out the difficulty of reciprocal relationship: " the problem with many Christians is that they just swallow the media presentation of Islam and Muslims. They really do not feel the need to find out for themselves. Similarly many Muslims tend to associate Christians with the west without critically thinking about their situation (such as that of Christians in India, ed). " Instead, even with regard to the debate on combating corruption in recent months that is inflaming the country, "Christians and Muslims must work together to protect the Constitution of our nation. We have a good model – he continues - and it should be defended. The Christians and Muslims of Tahrir Square have shown that being together is important to save their nation from anarchy and dictatorship. "

For Fr Edwin the example of the "Arab Spring” is one to follow : "Compared to what happened in some Arab countries, what we are witnessing is the awakening of an entire people, which is trying to affirm human dignity and personal freedom. Above all, people want to rediscover their sense of belonging to the larger human community: to recover their identity, exercise their full rights and live a more human life ".

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