The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 5, 2001 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 5, 2001
Page 15
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-THE SAUNA JOURNAL RELIGION SATURDAY, MAY 5. 2001 B5 • LITERATURE Book on Islam for U.S. Jews provokes fiiror The Associated Press Khalid Duran holds a copy of his book "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews," recently in his Bethesda, Md., home. T FAITH MATTERS Muslim advocacy group says book does little to enhance understanding By RICHARD N. OSTLING The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Relations between Jews and Muslims in the United States, already tense amid the latest Mideast eruptions, have been strained further by the release of a book whose stated purpose, paradoxically, is "to enhance mutual understanding and reduce mutual ignorance and suspicion." "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews" does exactly the opposite of that, contends the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Washington-based Muslim advocacy group.. The book was issued this week by the American Jewish Committee at its annual convention here. (Ktav is the trade book publisher.) On Tuesday, CAIR appealed to the Jewish group to suspend distribution until "Muslim concerns" are addressed and "respected Muslim scholars" are given a chance to review the contents. Rabbi A. James Rudin, the recently retired interreligious affairs director of the Jewish committee who commissioned the book, says 14 experts on Islam already reviewed the manuscript prior to publication. The book was written by Khalid Duran of Bethesda, Md., who has been a visiting professor at five U.S. campuses, most recently the University of Louisville. Abdelwahab Hechiche of the University of South Florida also contributed material. Duran, 61, who has worked previously in Germany and Pakistan, is president of the IbnKhaldun Society, which he describes as an international group of 800 Muslim thinkers, and the editor of its Translslam quarterly, which hasn't appeared since 1998 due to lack of funds. His new book has won blurbs from such notable Christians as Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, former Harvard Divinity School Dean Krister Stendahl and University of Chicago church historian Martin E. Marty Marty believes the Jewish project "will greatly benefit our nation." He praises Duran for drawing a sharp distinction between Islam as an inspiring religion and, as Marty puts it, political radicals "whose perverted concept of Islam is widely reported in the media, causing widespread hostility toward and fear of Islam." Author criticized Yet CAIR portrays Duran as an eccentric friend of "Muslim bashers" who is utterly without standing among U.S. believers. Another critic, Omer Bin Abdullah, editor of the magazine published by the Islamic Society of North America, says having Duran write about Islam is like asking Ted Turner to do a book on Christianity, a reference to the CNN founder's notorious cracks about that religion. For his part, Duran calls CAIR an "extremist" front for Palestinians. He says the Islamic Society of North America does not represent U.S. Mus­ lims, either Rudin says any Muslim scholar willing to write for the Jewish committee would have been targeted by "anti-Jewish elements within the Muslim community who are opposed to any positive relations." Duran's work is being issued in tandem with "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims," written by Rabbi Reuven Firestone of the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion. It's the sort of meet-your-Jewish-neighbor book one might expect, and that makes matters worse, from CAIR's standpoint. "It's not fair," says executive director Nihad Awad, to pair a relatively bland treatment of Judaism with a book on Islam that he finds full of "stereotyping" and contested issues. Politically, the book argues vigorously and in detail that today's Is­ lamists (often called "fundamentalists") are simply totalltarians who manipulate a religion they little understand to achieve political ends in Muslim lands. Smuggling Bibles into China worth the risk for these men Demand for Bibles overwhelming in Communist China They took me to a back room, closed the door and offered me a cup of coffee. "Black is fine," I said. I usually put cream in my coffee, but this wasn't the time to be weak. "Would you like to see what we're smuggling?" asked the man who called himself Jim- iny :"Yes," I said. Jimmy left the room. The other man, who called himself Keith, stayed behind and told me what he could about the smuggling operation. It's risky business. Basically, what they do is convert legal merchandise to cash, then convert the cash to contraband, and smuggle it into China. That's right. Communist China. , This isn't just a local operation. This Memphis, Tenn., group is part of an international smuggling ring. Jimmy works here, Keith at the national level. "The demand is overwhelming," said Keith, who's trying • PRESENTATION to line up another connection in Atlanta. "Last year, we put 1.5 million of them inside China, but even if we could get 15 million it wouldn't be enough." The Memphis group • ^ starts by collecting old clothes and appliances and other such donated items. The merchandise is collected, sorted, cleaned and priced to sell. While Keith was talking, Jimmy came # back and set the contraband on the table in front of me. I took it, opened it and looked inside. Even though I knew what it was, I couldn't decipher it. "Chinese," Keith said. Of course. "This isn't the sort of thing you just put in your suitcase and walk into China with," Keith said. "We obviously have other methods, people inside China who take enormous DAVID WATERS Scripps Howard News Seruice risks. We really can't give you details about how we do it." They can give you plenty of reasons, though. For Keith Lang, Jimmy Staten and other members of the Bible League, the rewards of smuggling Bibles into other countries are worth the risks. "For every Bible we get into China, five people come to know Christ," Jimmy said. The Bible is so much a part of our culture that we've forgotten how counter-cultural it is, how explosive and revolutionary are its contents. In this part of the world, anyone can have a Bible, and most people have at least one. In some other parts of the world, though, in places like China, a person can get beaten, locked up, even killed, for having one. Here, a Bible is a communion gift or a coffee-table book. It's comforting to know that elsewhere, a Bible still is considered contraband. • David Waters may be reached by e-mail at or by mail at The Commercial Appeal, P.O. Box 334, Memphis, TN 38103. MuUer to give self-help message By The Salina Journal A nationally known speaker .and author whose self-help message combines spirituality and s61f analysis will give a presentation in Salina Monday Wayne Muller has been featured on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," CNN and PBS, and is the author of three books — one of which, "How, Then, Shall We Live?" will be the topic of his speech Monday Muller's presentation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Eighth. The presentation is free and open to the public, although do- T FUND-RAISER nations will be accepted. Muller's stripped-down approach to therapy for those plagued by stress and other problems is centered on broad, and what he considers fundamental, questions about human existence. "What do I love? What is my gift to the family of the Earth?" Muller said, explaining his approach. "What people need is intimate contact in a kind way," said Muller, a licensed therapist and minister from the San Francisco Bay area. Muller is founder of the Institute for Engaged Spirituality, a Shannon benefit is May 12 By The Salina Journal A fun run, carnival and concert are planned May 12 at Trinity United Methodist Church to raise money for Richard Shannon, a Salina man who suffers from cystic fibrosis and is in need of a lung transplant. The a 5K (3.1 miles) run and one-mile walk begins at 8 a.m. at the church, 901 Neal. People who wish to preregister may call the church at 825-5270. Late registration is 7 to 8 a.m. the day of the run. The Festival for Life, a carnival, will follow the fun run. Games, prizes, refreshments, a craft fair and a barbecue are planned. Spaces for the craft fair cost $10; an extra $5 will be charged for a table. Crafters may keep all of their profits or make donations to the transplant fund. All proceeds from space and table reservations will go to the transplant fund. To reserve a space, call the church office. - A 7 p.m. concert will feature Christian vocalist Bekah Frees, who is from the Wichita area. More information about the Shannon Lung Transplant Fund may be obtained by visiting the Internet site, senior scholar with the Fetzer Institute, a fellow with the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a regular contributor to Forbes magazine. He also is founder of a nonprofit organization. Bread for the Journey Muller said he is looking forward to his trip to Kansas. "People in the Midwest are closer to simple, human things," he said. Free child care is available through the Child Abuse Prevention Service by calling 8254493. For more information, call Becky Ewing at 825-8461 or the church office at 825-0226. SPECIAL EVENTS • The Handbell Choirs of Trinity Lutheran Church, McPherson, will.present their 16th annual Lemonade Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday in Trinity Hall. The church's four handbell choirs have nearly 60 members. Donations will be accepted. Call the church office at (620) 241-0424. • The Dixie Melody Boys will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church, 843 Lewis. An offering will be taken. • McPherson's All Schools Day will feature gospel concerts at 2 • and 7 p.m. Friday at the McPherson Community Building Auditorium. Admission is by button. Children are free, but there will be an additional charge for adults. St. Paul church defies ELCA, ordains lesbian pastor By The Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn. — More than 1,000 people crowded into a Lutheran church to witness the ordination of a lesbian pastor in defiance of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. , Anita Hill, 49, was ordained at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in a service animated by spirit, laughter, faith and exhortations for inclusion. Hill has satisfied all the re- Quzi-ements for ordination into the ELCA, but she is a lesbian in a committed relationship and therefore cannot be ordained by the church. The ELCA does ordain homosexuals, but only if they abstain from sexual relationships. More than 200 clergy members — Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Jewish, Buddhist and others — surrounded Once upon a time a boy absentniindedly wandered deep into a woods. As the sun sank behind the tall trees, the boy panicked, having no sense of direction in the blackness, not knowing what waited ahead. Disheartened, he began to lose hope until suddenly he remembered... It was there all tlie time...on his keycliain...thc small glowing compass his father had given him for such a time as this. Since he had never used it, it was nearly forgotten. What a disaster that could have been! Our Heavenly Father has given us the light of His word to guide us as we wander through the maze of our lives. Make it an unfoi^ettable pai't of your Ule as you worshiji each Sabbath. God knows what lie^ aliead. Sunday Revelation 21:1-27 Monday Revelation 22:1-21 Tuesday John 14:1-14 Wednesday John 14:15-31 Thursday Psalm 16 • Friday Genesis 6:1-8 Saturday Genesis 6:9-22 Hill as she knelt at the altar With hands on hands on hands, they blessed her ministry. Then the Rev Michael Cobbler, an old friend and the preacher for the service, led her to the center of the sanctuary, where the congregation blessed her and ordained her to the ministry Cobbler said, "The last time I checked, the grace of God left no one out." Saipltires SelecMty Ainaicm} BibisSoclaly Copyrighl 2001, Keisler-Williams Newspaper Services, P, 0 Box 6005. OhaloHesviOfj, VA 2^306, \«y,'w..'-aigiaj ;aiL Both your FAITH anci your CHURCH GROW through REGULAR CHURCH AHENDANCE OVER 37YEARS OF QUALITY SERVICE BYTHEHASSMAN FAMILY HASSMAN Termite & Pest Control, Inc. Terry Burger & Associates Raipii & Jeff Bennett MEMORIAL ART COMPANY, INC. "Jn Our 70th Year Under Same Family Management." 1608 S. 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