The common theological heritage and the mutual reverence of Jesus and his mother by both Muslims and Christians has sadly, become sullied throughout history as Islam and Christianity are often portrayed as implacable enemies, embroiled in conflict. The reality is, despite the troubled history. there have been epochs where Christians and Muslim have co-existed in peace.
Faith based societies at Universities have huge potential with their increasing number of members yet we have seen few actively engage with their students' unions... It is important to demonstrate to these societies that the union offers a lot more than generic advice and can help empower them and their members by bringing the different societies onto one platform and opening up channels of communications between them.
The issue for me is what the purpose of the meeting is meant to be. If it is just a public relations exercise then it seems pointless. If on the other hand real concerns are being debated, for example where religious hatred is manifesting itself in society and people are stirring up violence, such dialogue may help people to appreciate what is happening in their community.
Today is the first day of Christian festival Greenbelt, which similar to Limmud for Jews, provides an opportunity for Christians to come together, share ideas and debate issues. Taking place over four days in Gloucestershire, there was one speaker on the bill in particular that caught our attention.
Generally I have no problems with targeted ads. I am often as surprised as a little child thinking: how can they know that I am interested in that particular artist or something else. But every time it asks me to start playing War Commander I am shocked to see that 6,600,000 - almost seven million people...my God! - are dedicated to a war game. What does this tell us?
Having had the opportunity to hear from many of the giants of the Muslim world, as well as having heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, I was pleased to listen to the 14th Dalai Lama His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso on his recent tour of the UK. His talk aimed at the youth was entitled 'Stand Up and Be The Change', and was hosted by Russell Brand.