LONDON – 13th April 2012 – In its ongoing bid to research and promote the importance and role of dialogue among communities, the Dialogue Society is delighted to launch its latest publication, Dialogue in Islam: Qur’an – Sunnah – History. This book gives a concise introduction to the relationship between Islam and dialogue. Drawing on the Qur’an, the Sunnah and Islamic history it demonstrates that dialogue is an integral part of the very fabric of Islam, dispelling popular misconceptions.
Thousands of hard copies of the book will be distributed for free to interested people and organisations across the UK. A PDF version of the book is also available and free to download online. The Dialogue Society will continue to research and publish on the role and importance of dialogue in other faiths, philosophies and schools of thought. Its next publication in this area, entitled Dialogue Theories, will be released later this year.
In Dialogue in Islam, accessible to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Ahmet Kurucan and Mustafa K. Erol provide an introduction to the question, “What does Islam have to say about dialogue?” exploring relevant material in the Qur’an and the Sunnah and examples of the application of these sources in Islamic history. In a helpful question and answer format and a readable style, they demonstrate that dialogue is a part of the fabric of Islam, required by the God-given innate disposition of human beings, and by fundamental Islamic principles of conduct derived from mainstream, long-established understanding of the commands of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The authors also address elements of Islamic sources and traditional interpretation sometimes taken as contradicting the case for dialogue in Islam, such as verses of the Qur’an warning against friendships with ‘Jews and Christians’ or speaking of killing unbelievers, the traditional view that apostasy merits the death penalty, and certain interpretations of the concept of jihad.
Ozcan Keles, Executive Director of the Dialogue Society said: “We are very excited about this book, which addresses sensitive questions directly and with clarity. I hope it will contribute to the discussions surrounding Islam and intercultural relations and be of immediate use to the British Muslim audience as well those researching the role of religion in society in general and of Islam in contemporary times more specifically. As these are issues being discussed around the world, I hope this book will also reach a wider audience beyond the British Isles.”
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Notes to editors
The Dialogue Society is a registered charity, established in London in 1999, with the aim of advancing social cohesion by connecting communities through dialogue. It does this by bringing people together through discussion forums, courses, capacity building publications and outreach. It operates nation-wide with nine regional branches across the UK. The Dialogue Society aims to facilitate dialogue on a whole range of social issues. It stands for democracy, human rights, the non-instrumentalisation of religion in politics, equality and freedom of speech. For more information see www.dialoguesociety.org.