On Monday, October 13, 2014, the Common Word Alliance (CWA), a clergy interfaith organization held its first seminar in a series, discussing the “Story of Abraham” at the Hamtramck Public Library. Forum participants and presenters represented various religions and ethnic groups.
The forum’s moderator was Imam Hassan Habhab from Dearborn. He introduced the scholars and commented on their presentations. The speakers were: from the Muslim perspective, Imam Dr. Ali Sulejman Ali, from the Jewish perspective, Rabbi Dorit Edut, from the Unification Church perspective, Rev. David Kasbow, and from the Christian perspective, Pastor Dr. Sidney Griffin.
The subject selected was broad enough to last the entire academic year, however each presenter prepared a fifteen minute introduction on the subject, touching on the variations presented in the teachings of each religion. Abraham, the CWA argued, was the father of all three faiths, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, yet each faith has a different approach based on the same common original actions.
During the discussion of violence perpetrated in the name of religion, Imam Habhab gave a beautiful explanation based on teaching from Qur`an, stating that a true Muslim is not allowed to commit violence against any human, animal or even plant, be it by his word or hand. Those who do are not true Muslims, but use false interpretation of religious teaching as justification.
The two hour program was a beginning of discussion on the topic in a forum involving all religions that call their faithful “Children of Abraham.” The forum’s conclusion was to continue the discussion by sponsoring a new series of forums that will evaluate various aspects of the “Story of Abraham” from perspective of religions that had their beginnings from one father.
Arif Huskic, president and founder of the Common Word Alliance, thanked all participants and presenters for their interest in bringing all religions together for discussion of their founding, their divergence and now their coming together in mutual understanding for the purpose of promoting and building peace among people of all religions and nations.