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Thursday, July 11, 2013
In the Swiss village of Baar a hundred people from the two religions gathered from all over the country for a day of dialogue and sharing at the Focolare’s Eckstein Centre for Encounter and Formation.

A young Turkish man named Fathi, living in Basel , intoned Surah 134 of the Koran: “And Allah loves the doers of good!” With these words he took everyone right to the heart of the day’s message: love for neighour. Imam Muhammed Tas, also fromBasel, told of his weeklong ski holiday with parish priest Ruedii Beck and two others: “Together we cooked for each other. We saw where it was most comfortable for each other in the apartment, for our prayer. We were like a family where you learn from each other. Thanks to these friends I learned to ski much better. In Autumn we plan to have another holiday together, this time inTurkey.”

Abdul Jabbar Koubaisy, vice-president of the Muslim League in Poland, also expressed his admiration of the following Muslim saying: “Anyone who does not know how to thank God’s creatures will neither be able to thank their Creator.” Paul Lemarie from the Focolare Movement’s International Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue told about a Mariapolis in Macedonia with 35 Catholics, just as many Muslims and a dozen Orthodox Christians. Finally, a young Catholic woman offered her following testimony: “This gathering has deeply changed me. Up until now I only took my own faith into account and refused all the others: atheists, Muslims, even Orthodox Christians. Now I understand: God let’s his Sun rise on everyone.”

The focus of the dialogue on June 23rd in Baar was the experience of community that is already possible when there is respect for the diversity. As a way of delving into this topic Imam Mohammed Tas introduced a video recording of a talk given by Chiara Lubich in 2002 at the congress for Muslim Friends of the Focolare Movement in Castelgandolfo, Italy. “Love is quite an important thing in our religion,” Tas emphasised. “If a person doesn’t love, it means that he or she has a problem in their heart . . . Thirteenth century Muslim poet Yunus Emore, states: ‘I love you for love of the Creator!’ With these words he expresses the deepest love that can exist in a human being.”       

And speaking with the words of Chiara Lubich: “What is needed is love for neighbour, that love that you find in many different religious environments, in forms of mercy, benevolence, compassion, or solidarity. Love of neighbour which, for us Christians, isn’t merely a human sentiment, but enriched by a divine spark, is called agape, love of a supernatural origin.”

There followed in the afternoon  a period of prayer in different locations according to religions and then group meetings for  a deep and enriching sharing on the art of loving, forgiveness and the Golden Rule. Imam Mustafa Oezturk, president of the association that groups the most mosques inSwitzerland, stated in his final remarks: “We’re learning a new grammar here. The traditional one begins with the word “me,” then comes “you” and then, lastly, “him” or “her.” But the grammar of love for neighbor begins with the word “you” and then comes “I” or “me.” And “He” or “She” possess a right that must always be respected; that you only speak well of them.”



Margarida Faria

Friday, September 20, 2013 at 16:13

Estive na MARIAPOLIS de Recife – PE – Brasil e me encantei com
o movimento. !
Quero prosseguir neste caminho de Deus.