by Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam
New Age Islam columnist Dr. Adis Duderija authentically describes Muslims approach to interfaith dialogue. He writes: I would like to analyse the imam’s (who has a significant following and is seen as ‘progressive’ by many young people) speech in relation to the question of an authentic vs. apologetic approach to inter-faith dialogue. An authentic approach I define as one that deals with the reality of the complex nature ,diversity and at times mutually exclusive strands of what constitutes a religious tradition with the attendant issue of who has the power and authority to ‘canonise’ and interpret that very tradition. An approach which evaluates religious tradition holistically, contextually and in a historically sensitive manner An apologetic approach, on the other hand, strives to score an ideological point in most cases but importantly it is also a one dimensional approach and an understanding of the religious tradition based on selective utilisation of tradition that suppresses certain aspects of it and privileges others, an approach which is at best semi-contextualist and not attune to the historical circumstances in which the tradition unfolded.