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Beyond Christian Vs. Muslim Politics

I’m at the Faith Angle Forum in Miami Beach. On Monday, the group of journalists assembled here heard from scholars Shadi Hamid and Altaf Husain, talking about Islam and American life, and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, on the subject of Judaism and American life. I can’t remember where I heard this — I think Shadi said it — but it remains on my mind: American Muslims are socially conservative, in general, but have turned firmly to the Democratic Party because they don’t trust Republicans to look out for them.

I get that. It’s also true, though, that there are Christian conservatives who would be willing to vote Democratic, if only out of frustration and even disgust with the GOP today, if they could trust the Democrats to respect religious liberty (read: not to try to shut down our colleges and institutions because we’re insufficiently woke on LGBT rights).

I don’t see any way out of this impasse for either Muslims and Republicans, or conservative Christians and Democrats.

But here is some good news. At least I think so. We have to start thinking beyond politics, to cultural engagement.

Shadi Hamid and I have been e-mailing for a short while, talking about the prospect of finding common ground between traditional American Christians and traditional American Muslims. We planned to talk about it in person when we saw each other at this conference. On Monday night we had a good conversation about it. Shadi is not a conservative, but he’s a Muslim-American political scientist interested in the intersection of interests between Christians like me and Muslims.

We agreed that it would be worth trying to organize a conference at which traditional Christians and traditional Muslims could talk about issues of mutual interest. We agreed that it’s pointless to get together a group of right-minded liberal Muslims and liberal Christians to talk about blah blah blah. The thing we’d like to see is a serious exchange between trads on both sides, to talk about issues of mutual concern in ordinary life — and to explore ways we might support each other.

It’s like this. It’s not easy to be a Christian who dissents from mainstream American consumer life. I hear about Muslim families who want to raise kids to respect God and the traditional family, and to share their faith in community, then hey, if they want to live peaceably with me and my people, then I want to be a blessing to them. In all seriousness, I would rather have them live next door to me than unbelievers, or Christians who didn’t take the faith seriously. It’s not that I think all religious faiths are the same (I certainly don’t), but that I feel a natural sympathy for men and women who are trying to live in a countercultural way out of traditional religious conviction.

Altaf Husain told the gathering today that he and his wife homeschool their kids. Hey, we’ve done that! It’s been difficult, but great. What has the Muslim experience been like? I’d like to know. How can we work together to protect the liberty of parents to homeschool?

We really need to talk.

The clash between Islam and the mainstream in Europe is very different from what we’re dealing with in the US. Maybe if we engage with each other now, here in America, we can head off some of the seemingly irreconcilable problems that Europe now faces. Mostly though, I think we are far enough past 9/11 to where traditionalist Christians and traditionalist Muslims can meet for constructive dialogue. How can we help each other be faithful in a post-Christian, post-religious America? How can we stand together to defend religious liberty?

Are Modern Orthodox Jews interested in joining the conversation? I hope so.

Robbie George, what say you? Let’s put something together.

81 Comments (Open | Close)

81 Comments To "Beyond Christian Vs. Muslim Politics"

#1 Comment By mrscracker On April 17, 2018 @ 3:13 pm

I saws this article in the UK Catholic Herald & thought it might interest most folks either Christian, Muslim or Jewish:

“Governments and courts are turning parenting into an Orwellian nightmare”

“…The breakneck speed with which the gender agenda has gone from internet joke to policy priority is dizzying. But it has been substantially enabled by decades of erosion of the family in law and society, the sum total of which has been the rejection of the basic function of a parent – to form the child.

For the whole of human history, it has been understood that parents are the first educators of their children, imparting not just knowledge but also character, faith and morals. But in our postmodern, pluralistic society, this is the very behaviour that is unacceptable. One parent’s morality is another Named Person’s hate crime. Parents are now expected to deliver their children to adulthood unmarked, ready to choose their own values, religion and identity from the range on offer.

Many parental responsibilities are, to put it starkly, becoming criminal activities. In the very near future, children will be actively encouraged to affirm their own identities, and to inform on their parents if they are not being sufficiently supportive. The Orwellian nightmare we are heading into seems increasingly unavoidable. Given the catastrophic affect it will have on Western civilisation, the question now becomes: are we braced to weather the storm?”


#2 Comment By Anne On April 17, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

The idea that American Muslims are disaffected from the GOP simply because they all want “chain migration” across “open borders” is not only unfounded, it’s an example of how little such conservatives understand the minorities who might otherwise be their natural allies in the culture wars. When Shadi Hamid’s family worried about Trump winning the presidency, their first concern wasn’t how to get so-and-so into America, but how to get themselves out! It’s human rights, stupid, specifically the religious liberty conservative Christians give so much lip service. If you don’t even notice when others have theirs threatened, why should others care when you worry so much about yours?

#3 Comment By nemo On April 17, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

This is good to hear – I think this is a fine and much-needed initiative.

Are you aware that Roger Scruton is delivering an address at Zaytuna College on the 23rd of this month?

[NFR: No, I wasn’t aware. That’s interesting. If the audio, video, or a transcript is available online, let me know. — RD]

#4 Comment By mdc On April 17, 2018 @ 5:09 pm

Now you know what people mean by ‘Diversity is our strength!’

#5 Comment By kevin on the left On April 17, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

“A couple of years ago there was a bill in the California state legislature that would have forbidden the use of money from a particular state grant program at colleges that “discriminated” against LGBTs. Had this bill passed — and it was close — it would have caused the closure of many traditional Christian colleges in the state. Why? Because they served lots of poor and working-class kids (especially black and Hispanic), who could not have gone to those colleges without Cal grants. That’s how it’s going to happen. — RD]”

So.. in other words, this bill to get to the floor in the most liberal state in the nation, exactly because religious colleges were able to make the case that it would hurt students. That seems like a strong refutation of apocalyptic fears, but you are using the incident to reinforce them.

[NFR: A bill that would have effectively destroyed most small Christian colleges that did not capitulate almost made it to the floor, and you think Christians should rest easy? Everybody I talk to in California about this expects it to come back in some form. The Law of Merited Impossibility will never fail. — RD]

#6 Comment By G On April 17, 2018 @ 5:18 pm

Rod, I am really glad you wrote on this topic. I think that you are right on target — most of the readers here are responding to your topic obliquely, giving reasons why they wouldn’t want to live under a Caliphate or else conspiratorial musings about why we can’t trust these people.

But I don’t think that’s at all what you’re proposing; I think what you’re proposing is that there is a clear sensible common ground among a number faiths to work together on religious liberty — it’s sort of a “united we stand, divided we fall” kind of thing, and people who think that Conservative Christians can go into these political battles alone and hope to secure their rights are people who probably still think that we are living in a “Neutral World”.

And just in a purely practical sense, an inter-faith coalition working on religious liberty is probably the only way to be successful in 2018 America. I think that you’ve laid out a good argument above that Conservative Christians making their case to liberal Democrat politicians are just going to be ignored, but Muslims may at least get a fair hearing, so it would be sensible to try to align efforts.

I also think that in a BenOp sort of way, this dialogue is more about sharing inward-looking, close-to-home strategies for preserving faith and raising children in the 21st century than about national politics. I think these practical things are along the lines of:
– How do we limit exposure of our children to the garbage on television and the Internet?
– How do we work together to build a culture of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, when society is increasingly permissive about these things?
– How can we be allies in carving out a safe space for religiously observant students in increasingly secular schools?
– How can we work together to promote marriage for young adults who are increasingly being seduced by hookup culture?
– What do we have to say in common about resisting our materialistic, throw-away, instant-gratification culture? Particularly in resisting advertising and a “keeping up with the Jones'” materialistic mentality?

There is probably a lot that different faiths can align on in the topics that I outlined about. There are probably more that I haven’t thought of. The point is that these aren’t big “what should U.S. foreign policy be?” questions — they are the simple “what strategies are you using to deal with the problems that families face in the 21st century?” questions. And Christians shouldn’t be afraid to have that dialogue.

#7 Comment By VikingLS On April 17, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

For those of you who don’t know this story, Rod ran afoul of some more radical Muslims while he was at the Dallas Daily News and was the object of an actual attempt on their part to discredit him. I would not be so quick to presume naiveté on his part.

Muslims are less than 1% of the US population. They do have more power than their numbers suggest already, but we’re not in any danger of Muslim dominance in the USA.

Generally, and this was true even when I lived in Turkey, I have heard Muslims speak of Christianity with far more respect that I have heard from liberals, even liberal Christians.

#8 Comment By John On April 17, 2018 @ 6:11 pm

To Franklin Evans. I don’t think you can understand why I believe that family values without Jesus aren’t worth anything. There is no “rift” to bridge between Christians and Muslims, they are simply in opposition to my faith, and I theirs. I have no common ground with them because they are a militant religion which grows by the sword.

I’m agree with you that Rod means well by what he is trying to do, I simply disagree and consider Islam the opposition just like secularism. No two ways about it.

My loving my Muslim neighbor’s IS my trying to convert them, I see no reason why Christian’s should hide that, unless we think that you can reject Christ as your savior and still have eternal life.

I would go as far to say that Orthodox Christians who embrace Islam out of a sense of shared interest are really just the opposite side of the coin from those who embrace secularism because they have an interest in racial/sexual justice.

#9 Comment By Basil On April 17, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

We’ve recently has our same sex marriage debate and plebiscite in Australia. Muslim leaders here avoided speaking publicly on the issue for fear of being seen to be allies of Christians, who were mercilessly beaten in the public square (metaphorically, for now!). Old hatreds run deep, it seems.

[NFR: I understand that Muslims in the US stay quiet on these issues here too, for similar reasons. It makes a certain kind of sense. They are protected by Democrats, because Republicans are often very hostile to them. Why should they antagonize Democrats to stand with people who by and large demonize them? On the other hand, I suspect should push come to shove, American Muslims will discover that they are embraced by the left only insofar as they can be used as a cudgel against the right. — RD]

#10 Comment By Rich Kennedy On April 17, 2018 @ 7:14 pm

Familiarity is a good thing. Here in Detroit, Muslims are everywhere, as are Arab Christians. Muslims, to me, seem to make up a good portion of that Indian minority that is the wealthiest U.S. minority as well. One on one, conservative Muslims are genial and friendly. I my customer service work, I make a special point of trying to make eye contact and enthusiastically welcome women who have their heads covered.Takes a while, but many now seek me out as a genial and competent company representative.

All that to say that if we are willing to Rea h out and make contact with Muslims, we will be amazed at the kind of warm relationships we can have with them. I have even had fax in at in conversations about practical, faithful living with many. Don’t ever underestimate the human to human factor in engaging anyone who might be a strange “other”.

BTW, I would be delighted to have Muslims as neighbors. I already have good Gay neighbors who are cordial and kind. While I am an orthodox Christian, I find plenty in common with Muslim and Gay folk. As to our faith and moral differences, I defer to the Holy Spirit for possible openings for sure h conversations. My own instincts might just ruin the relationship before He gets a chance.

#11 Comment By Vern Hughes On April 17, 2018 @ 7:34 pm

Excellent idea. In Australia, we have had several initiatives involving Muslim forms of mutuality (mutual aid practices in finance, banking, family support, education, work) in dialogue with Christian and Jewish forms of mutuality (of which there are many historical and contemporary practices). The overlap in intent and culture is very strong. The common theme is counter-cultural community. Imagine these conversations displacing the conversations about Jihad, distrust and enmity, and firing the passions of young people from each tradition!

#12 Comment By Mark On April 17, 2018 @ 8:54 pm

The ideas presented are intriguing and worthy to attempt. Perhaps the similarities are enough to allow a peaceful and cooperative co-existence. Were there not enough similarities in Hindu India to prevent the split into India and Pakistan? Would a sort of religious geo-political split eventually occur here too? Still, it is worth a try. What is the alternative?

#13 Comment By JonF On April 17, 2018 @ 8:56 pm

Re: I would go as far to say that Orthodox Christians who embrace Islam out of a sense of shared interest are really just the opposite side of the coin from those who embrace secularism because they have an interest in racial/sexual justice.

If an orthodox Christian embraces Islam then he is not an orthodox Christian, or a Christian at all: embracing Islam means converting to it. However embracing people who happen to be Muslims is a very different thing and it is fact something we are commanded to do, under “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Even if you view such people as enemies that commandment still holds.
Oh, and Justice is not an optional virtue. If you do not love justice (and charity and prudence and faith and hope…) can you truly love God?

#14 Comment By Daniel (not Larrison) On April 17, 2018 @ 9:59 pm

The Dean wrote:

What is wrong with maintaining a Christian country? Why do we have to allow our country to be remade in the likeness of some warlord that lived in the Middle East in the 600’s who had 12 wives?

One of the funniest comments I’ve read in a while.

How can we “maintain” a Christian country when is ISN’T one??

Maybe you can argue that this nation was founded on Christian principals. You’d probably also be right in claiming that we were, on our founding, largely Christian in culture.

But seriously, what kind of Christianity can you assume we “maintain”? A Christianity that makes unrestricted abortion a Constitutional right? Where easy divorce is a matter of law? Where our popular culture is soaked in sex, greed, and the pursuit of new toys? Where SSM is a matter of law?

And don’t think those things will be rolled back any time soon.

No, it’s frankly blasphemy to call our nation, as it is today, “Christian” in any meaningful sense. Our nation has rejected any meaningful kind of Christian identity years ago.

#15 Comment By TR On April 17, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

“Never trust a Mohammedan,” my Lebanese great-grandmother used to say. Nevertheless Arab Muslims and Christians both hated the Turks and today both hate Israel. Sometimes ethnicity trumps religion.

My only comment based on personal experience is that traditional Muslim families have the same problem that other immigrant parents have–their kids tend to become Americanized. And make fun of their elders when they’re hanging around with their native-born friends. So how to keep the next generation faithful is something you can certainly discuss.

#16 Comment By Khalid mir On April 17, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

The very reasonable and generous comments on this thread really make me think -and this is probably a reflection of Rod’s own generous spirit-that people can still sit down and talk like human beings (even on the internet!).

(Of course, that is not to gloss over the very real problems caused by fanatics or the legitimate concerns people have about immigrants from a very different cultural background).

Thanks in particularly to Jon. I think you’re spot on about including Jewish groups.

For my part, I think part of the problem arises when people think they possess the whole truth. An old Jewish saying (via Milosz):

If someone is right 80% of the time pat them on the back; 90%? Give them a medal? 100%? Shoot them!

Or maybe that wise old clown says it better:

‘I count on this. Not on perfect understanding, which is Cartesian, but on approximate understanding which is Jewish.’

#17 Comment By Judith Sylvester On April 17, 2018 @ 11:29 pm

Andrew Pickard: I hear you.

#18 Comment By Khalid mir On April 17, 2018 @ 11:33 pm

Where’s the bleedin’ edit button?! ‘In *particular*’..maybe Rasolnik, or whatever his name is, was right..maybe I should go back!

#19 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 17, 2018 @ 11:36 pm

“Never trust a Mohammedan,” my Lebanese great-grandmother used to say. Nevertheless Arab Muslims and Christians both hated the Turks and today both hate Israel. Sometimes ethnicity trumps religion.

Actually, the World Values Survey results indicate that Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Lebanon dislike each other quite as much as either of them dislikes the Muslims. (Shia and Sunni Muslims actually express higher opinions of each other in public opinion surveys than do Maronites and Orthodox).

#20 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 17, 2018 @ 11:42 pm

Were there not enough similarities in Hindu India to prevent the split into India and Pakistan?

Muslims in India overwhelmingly wanted a national homeland of their own. Look at the results from the 1946 (I think it was) general election.

I find this lamenting over the formation of Pakistan from American liberals (and more disingenuously, from Indian Hindus) to be grating, it reminds me a lot of that slogan about how people must be “forced to be free”. I realize that lots of American liberals are in love with the ideals of liberalism, but lots of people around the world- not just Muslims, lots of Christians, atheists, Hindus and others- don’t want to live in a liberal society. Maybe you think it’s still worth the cost of imposing liberal values upon them, and that’s fine, but at least don’t expect them to like it.

#21 Comment By Franklin Evans On April 18, 2018 @ 2:02 am


Thank you for responding. I can only add that you must live with the expectation that non-Christians (myself excluded, I hope you will believe) will see you as an enemy.

#22 Comment By Thomas Hobbes On April 18, 2018 @ 3:33 am

Ha, I cannot imagine this taking off. The only thing that self righteous orthodox folks (and they’re all self righteous except for a few saints) hate more than self righteous folks of a different orthodoxy is self righteous folks of the same orthodoxy who are guilty of heresy (splitters!). The non-orthodox are bad too, I mean Rod wouldn’t want his kids hanging out with them, but at least they don’t try and tell us we are wrong about God’s teachings…

This probably isn’t true for Rod (perhaps he’s one of those previously mentioned saints?), but most of the orthodox Christians I know (mostly Catholics) aren’t afraid of liberals taking away their religious liberty, they just hate SJWs for the fact that SJWs act like they are morally superior to the orthodox Christians.

I’m sure orthodox Christians can find lots to agree on with liberal muslims though since they still have conservative family values.

#23 Comment By Lo and Anon On April 18, 2018 @ 7:26 am

Some in this thread have pointed out that Muslims often refrain from public criticism of the left, but the reverse is also true. You sure didn’t see Harvard suspending the Muslim Students Association over its views on homosexuality. And you won’t. Because that’s not how this works.

So the incentives of conservative Muslims and Christians are quite different vis-a-vis the American left.

To a lesser extent the same is true for non-white Christians, who are likewise not seen as a political threat by the American left and are therefore not subjected to the same repressive measures.

Divide and conquer.

#24 Comment By M. On April 18, 2018 @ 8:21 am

Someone once said when you engage in lengthy dialogue, you end up burying the truth.

What “common concerns” does an Orthodox Jew or a Muslim have with a Roman Catholic such as myself? Free markets? School vouchers? “Conservatism”?

Conserving what, precisely?

The former of the two have a text called the Talmud which is explicitly blasphemous and is formally and was moreover formulated to be an antidote to Christ and His Church.

The latter have a book called the Quran which calls the Blessed Trinity an “excremental notion”.

So sorry, nothing doing in terms of discussing faith and religion with Jews and Muslims aside from saying “hi”.

They’re my enemies in those regards.

#25 Comment By JM On April 18, 2018 @ 10:04 am

“but it remains on my mind: American Muslims are socially conservative, in general”

This is repeated quite a bit but I’m skeptical. For example, can you think of any prominent American Muslims, either individuals or groups, who are part of the pro-life movement, or were part of the traditional marriage movement pre Perry? Can you think of any American Muslim journalists who have espoused socially conservative views?

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 18, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

No, it’s frankly blasphemy to call our nation, as it is today, “Christian” in any meaningful sense.

It always was. That’s why James Madison wrote about protecting religion from the profane hand of the civil magistrate by means of the First Amendment clauses on religion, and Virginia’s statute of religious liberty. That’s why Madison argued that the better way of showing respect for the sacred name of Jesus would be to NOT insert it into a mere legislative enactment.

Those who assert that Christians are betraying their faith to ally with Muslims mislocate the First Amendment, or, they are sincere opponents of religious liberty. Our constitutional jurisprudence does not affirm that all religions are equally true. It affirms that the state is incompetent to weigh which, if any, are true. So, Muslims and Christians can agree on a civil (and cultural) framework that leaves each free to practice its faith, without the phony ecumenism of trying to reconcile irreconcilable doctrines.

I find this lamenting over the formation of Pakistan from American liberals (and more disingenuously, from Indian Hindus) to be grating…

Well, I’ve always considered Partition to be one of the great failures of liberalism, although technically one might call the post-war British government vaguely social-democratic.

Partition, in Europe after WW I, and in many places after WW II, was disastrous because ethnic groups and religious adherents are simply not distributed in compact territories. If a 100 percent Lutheran nation had conquered a 100 percent Catholic nation, it would be a simple matter, particularly in settling a major war, to tell the conquering nation to withdraw a small number of colonial administrators and occupying troops.

But, Germans were all over eastern Europe, as far away as the Volga. Ethnic Hungarians lived in Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia. Ethnic Poles lived in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Russia. Muslims were scattered in a patchwork all over India for a variety of reasons, involving different patterns of conversion or invasion, rise and fall of various empires and kingdoms with Muslim or Hindu rulers and often with mixed subject populations, etc. The fact that more Muslims remain in India than live in Pakistan speaks volumes to Partition as a solution. Those who tried to move to conform to the new borders killed each other on the way by the millions, and those Muslims who moved from what is now India remain in many respects a distinct demographic that is often treated as second class citizens in Pakistan. Then there was the problem of combining the ethnicities and cultures of western Pakistan with the very different ethnicities and cultures of east Pakistan, a thousand miles away, and we know how that worked out in the end.

People vote for things in plebiscites all the time without any intention of paying any real price to accomplish what seems facilely desirable when its just a matter of casting a ballot. One of the weaknesses of the Confederacy is that a good fraction of young southern manhood was quite ready to vote for secession, but had no intention of actually putting their lives on the line to fight for it. (Southern newspaper editors were quite caustic about this, and of course, the result was that the confederacy resorted to conscription, a most un-American measure up to that point, north or south, but particularly in the eyes of those focused on state, local, or regional “rights.”)

#27 Comment By t. altmann On April 18, 2018 @ 4:26 pm

See Peter Kreeft, “Ecumenical Jihad”…from amazon:

juxtaposing “ecumenism” and “jihad”, two words that many would consider strange and at odds with each other, Peter Kreeft argues that we need to change our current categories and alignments. We need to realize that we are at war and that the sides have changed radically: many of our former enemies (e.g. Muslims) are now our friends, and some of our former friends (e.g. humanists) are now our enemies. Documenting the spiritual and moral decay that has taken hold of modern society, Kreeft issues a wake-up call to all God-fearing Christian, Jews and Muslims to unite together in a “religious war” against the common enemy of godless secular humanism, materialism and immorality.
Aware of the deep theological differences of these monotheistic faiths, Kreeft calls for a moratorium on our polemics against each other so that we can form an alliance to fight together to save western civilization. He cites numerous examples of today’s Protestants, Jews, Catholics and Muslims working together to solve moral and spiritual problems. God is calling for this unity, Kreeft says, and if we respond, God will do something wonderful.

#28 Comment By TR On April 18, 2018 @ 7:20 pm

Hector: I did not know that Lebanese Maronite and Orthodox dislike one another (my family was Maronite), but it’s no secret that none of the Latin and Orthodox churches can get along in Jerusalem, where they are supposed to be keeping the holiest sites in Christendom.

[NFR: When our first child was born, we were in a Manhattan hospital. Our nurse was Orthodox, from Lebanon. We were Catholic then, and mentioned to her that we attended the Maronite cathedral in Brooklyn. She turned ice cold, and said some unkind words about Maronites. — RD]

#29 Comment By Pedro On April 18, 2018 @ 10:46 pm

From a global perspective I highly recommend the Oasis Center, initiated by Cardinal Angelo Scola: [2]

#30 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 19, 2018 @ 10:35 am

The fact that more Muslims remain in India than live in Pakistan speaks volumes to Partition as a solution. Those who tried to move to conform to the new borders killed each other on the way by the millions, and those Muslims who moved from what is now India remain in many respects a distinct demographic that is often treated as second class citizens in Pakistan.

Again, look at the counterfactual here. Dominique Lapierre who documents the violece attendant on Partition in often gruesome detail, and with a lot of pathos and care for his subjects (if at times sensationalistic), also concedes that the situation for Muslims in India today is probably better than it was before 1947 and better than it would have been under Hindu rule without partition. I think the reveled preference of Indian muslims is clear.

That being said, I also think India as it stands today is a much bigger country than any country ought to be, and it would it have been better if it had been split into smaller countries as well (along ethnolinguistic lines rather than religious ones). There was actually a serious proposal in the 1940s to make United Bengal a single country, independent of both India and Pakistan, unifying all the Bengali people regardless of religion.

Anyway I think the problem with the formation of Pakistan was that the British decided to irresponsibly wash their hands of the situation and high-tail it for London. If independence had been granted more gradually over say a five-year period, with sufficient law enforcement on the ground and careful attention to detail in drawing the borders, a lot of that violence could have been prevented.

#31 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On April 19, 2018 @ 10:38 am

In Australia, we have had several initiatives involving Muslim forms of mutuality (mutual aid practices in finance, banking, family support, education, work) in dialogue with Christian and Jewish forms of mutuality (of which there are many historical and contemporary practices).

I’m not sympathetic to the theological underpinnings, obviously, but I think the Islamic view of finance and banking is one area that Christians could really learned a lot from, and is one of the aspects of Islam I really really respect. (I think in a previous thread I pointed out to Khalid a half dozen issues I think where Islam really got it right: I forget the other ones, but maintaining the prohibition of usury and the careful attention to detail in documenting the provenance of ‘hadiths’ were two of the big ones.)