Religious Leaders Can Positively Influence Their Communities


November 19th, 2011

RCT Program Administrator Trelawney Grenfell-Muir recently wrote on an article for the website of the Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue entitled, “Like the Teeth of the Comb: Leaders in Inter-Religious Tolerance in Lebanon and Syria.”

Click here for the text of the article, which profiles seven religious leaders in the conflicts in Lebanon and Syria, and how they are trying to positively influence their communities to bring about peace.

One of these leaders quotes the Hadith to his students in order to promote theological openness.  For example, “‘people are equal (sawâsiyah) like the teeth of the comb: Arabs are not superior to non-Arabs.’ …They belong [like fingers] to a hand. So we are together, but no one is the same as the other.”

Grenfell-Muir concludes: “While it is difficult to quantify the exact effect specific doctrines have in the hands of talented leaders, the situation would surely be worse without the admirable efforts of all who teach and model embracing the ‘other.’ We can only hope that others will learn from their example and continue to build a lasting peace. “