16 Jul 2012 by Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Participants in the 13th
annual West Coast Muslim-Catholic Dialogue compared
and contrasted the qualities of the believer in Islam and
Catholicism during a recent meeting in Orange, Calif.
Imam Taha Hassane, director of the Islamic
Center of San Diego, identified the six principles of faith
for Muslims and said each principle must be accompanied
by a right understanding and by its practical application.
Imam Hassane emphasized that belief without
practice is considered weak in Islam, and that Islam places
great emphasis on personal commitment to faith with
Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, vicar for ecumenical and
interreligious affairs in the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said the Catholic believer similarly requires an absolute submission to the will of God as conveyed through Jesus.
But obeying the law of God requires more than
doing good actions, he said. In order to be a disciple of
Jesus it is not enough to just obey the commandments but
to turn ones life over to God and the proclamation of the
good news, Msgr. Mikulanis said.
The dialogue, co-chaired by retired Bishop Carlos A. Sevilla of Yakima, Wash., and Imam Muzammil H.
Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Orange County, also
included study of the sacred texts of each religion in
relation to the Islamic prophet Hud and the Catholic
Imam Siddiqi said Hud, who lived in the third
millennium B.C., warned the people of Ad in southern
Arabia to turn away from their descent into immorality but
was not heeded. The city was destroyed and passed into
legend until 1992 when archaeologists discovered a city
buried in the sands of southern Arabia that corresponded
to the description of Ad in the Quran.
The prophet Hud is esteemed today as a prototype
for prophetic messages and guidance for all times to
come, the Muslim leader said. Hud gives hope that
justice will prevail over oppression.
Melkite Catholic Father Alexei Smith, director of
ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the Archdiocese
of Los Angeles, said Habbakuk, like Hud, emerged at a
time in history of considerable stress between God and his
The message conveyed to believers across the
centuries is that Gods truth takes time to unfold even in
the face of appalling evil and that patience is required.
It is difficult for one to accept this teaching and
difficult as well for pastors and religious leaders to
counsel patience in the midst of immediate suffering,
Father Smith said. But enduring evil, according to
Habbakuk, can be turned into an opportunity for faithful
witness to the saving power of God.
The next meeting of the West Coast Muslim-Catholic Dialogue was set for May 21-22, 2013.
Tags: United States Islam Catholic-Muslim relations Catholicism