Editorial: Bridges, Not Roadblocks, Will Build Tolerance Among Abrahamic Faiths

April 27, 2004

Source: The Oregonian


On April 27, 2004 The Oregonian reported, "After reading Richard Colby's report about this controversy within the Portland area's religious community, I was truly shocked. In a time when we are supposed to be teaching religious tolerance and understanding, it is sad to see the organizers of the "Mayors' Prayer Breakfast of Washington County" acting in such an uncivilized manner. Unfortunately, even though Islam is rightfully included under the umbrella of the 'Three Abrahamic Faiths,' there has been a concerted movement from some circles to differentiate the God of Islam from the God of Christians and Jews. As Peter Reding, the Washington County group's communications director, so ignorantly put it:'The Muslims are not part of the Judeo-Christian tradition.' Members of the group objected to 'a Muslim praying to Allah rather than to God as Jews and Christians do,' the article reported. Reding and his fellow board members obviously have very little knowledge of Islam and its background, or else they would not resort to such closed-minded and inaccurate comments. If they would take a moment and look at their Christian brethren who also live in areas such as Bethlehem, Syria or Lebanon, they would see that these people often refer to God as 'Allah...' It is time to build bridges within the religious community, not put up roadblocks."