Secularism, foiling efforts for interfaith dialogue
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History at the University of Exter in Devon, Cornwall referred to secularism as the factor foiling the Islam Christianity dialogue.
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Professor William Gallois, in an interview with Iran's Qur'an news Agency (IQNA) related on the interfaith dialogue saying that the discussions carried out in the secular world have left a deeper impact on people than the discussions based on religion, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
He said he maintained positive view regarding interfaith dialogue though the challenge has not proved as influential enough among the people as the number of participants in these debates are quite few and the changes which follow are mainly by debates in the secular world and not the religions.
The University professor also referred to the role of arts in conveying religious concepts and changing the viewpoints saying," For instance an exhibition on the topic of Hajj held at British Museum was attended by hundreds of thousands and the viewers could not receive anything but deeply respectable and rich images of Islam."
He noted that the role of Muslims has been neglected by western historians to a great extent, a fact which will bring much damage to societies because this inability of historians and researchers in defining the role of Muslims in formation of civilization translates to inability of education, culture and media sections to understand the extent of intermingle between history of Islam and Europe.
Professor William Gallois also related on growth of Islamophobia in different countries saying that the issue is different in each country though it is found across Europe since these countries cannot tolerate the notion of "Islamic Europe."
He said," This rejection is, historically and culturally, useless because countries like Albania and Kosovo are already mainly populated by Muslims."
According to the British professor, this rejection of Islam and promotion of xenophobia is meaningless because Europe is Jewish and Muslim in the same extent which is Christian.
William Gallois is Professor of the History of the Islamicate Mediterranean World at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (UK). His books include A History of Violence in the Algerian Colony (2014), Time, Religion and History (2008), and the forthcoming (2022) Qayrawan: To Paint a City is To Save the World.