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On the occasion of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) and Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (p), IMAM hosted a panel discussion called, “Judeo-Christian Relationships with Early Muslims” at its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. This event was live streamed on I.M.A.M’s Facebook page.

The aim of the panel was to highlight the nature of the positive relationship between Islam and other religions, and draw attention to the mutual respect between them as fostered and ensured by the Holy Prophet (phuh&hp) and the teachings of Islam as portrayed in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

The panel underscored Islam’s emphasis on establishing the nature of this interrelationship, which led to a peaceful coexistence between the followers of each Abrahamic religion, which helped preserve the social, economic and political order of the early Islamic nation. The discussion clarified how other religions considered Islam and the message of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp) to be antithetical to the political imposition [and religious persecution] that had become a painful reality among the followers of the monotheistic religions, and worse, the wars and massacres caused by the political history of [past] civilizations.

The focus of the speeches during the symposium was on these issues in the history of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The panelists included:

1. Sheikh Mohamad Al-Ali Al-Halabi, Senior Religious Scholar at Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya. Organizer of the symposium

2. Professor Odeh Muhawish, theologian and adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Minnesota

3. Professor Howard Lupovitch, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies.

4. Reverend Sameem Balius, Pastor of Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic Church, Warren, Michigan.

5. Hajj Wissam Bazzi, moderator of the panel

At the end of the discussion, there was a Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees. Participants in the symposium were from various backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. The event was attended by people of different religious affiliations.