Local Church Opens Doors to Read Qur'an

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

A week of words without action from one reverend in Florida inspired another reverend in Lansing to act with words.

"It was like a light went on," said Rev. Kit Carlson of All Saints Episcopal Church. "People can hear what's in the book and text can be honored by people of a different culture."

The text Carlson is referring to is the Qur'an, the holy book of the islamic faith. For two hours Saturday night, Carlson's church opened its doors for a multi-faith congregation from around Lansing. The capacity crowd came to hear readings straight from the Qu'ran In both English and Arabic and unabbridged.

"Tonight we want to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in a sense of not only solidarity but education," said Rev. Sarah Midzalkowski of Canterbury MSU. "Most americans have no idea what the tenets of islam are."

"I think people will be surprised to learn the similarities between Islam and Christianity," said Farhan Bhatti, a spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing. "Honor thy neighbor isn't a principle that's unique to Christianity or Islam but it's something that's across faiths."

The hope of local religious groups was that this would be a stepping stone to interfaith understanding. It was an event many thought was necessary in light of the recent tensions over a proposed Qur'an burning in Florida that received attention across the world.

"This is what makes America great, this is what we need more of and this is just a part of a series of dialogues." said Bhatti.

"What we're trying to do is bring people together so that we can promote tolerance not just in our world but in our hearts and in our communities and relationships are where this starts," said Midzalkowski.


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  • by Jen Location: fowler, MI on Oct 21, 2010 at 09:18 AM
    Reading the Qur'an is not denying Jesus. Christians (and all people) should learn about other beliefs. Reading the Qur'an is a great way to respect and learn about the religion of Islam. And in response to people who think Muslims don't read other books-- they do. Some Muslims do read both the old and new testaments. They believe that the books are not quite the word of God, that they have been corrupted by man, but they are not ignorant of them the way most Christians are ignorant about the Qur'an. You are not doing yourself any favors by keeping yourself ignorant. Read the Qur'an can help you defend your Christian faith while giving you insight into the not so terrible/evil/scary religion of Islam. It is important to remember that people who kill in the name of religion are the ones to be blamed, not the religions themselves. plenty of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others have gone extremist and killed for what they felt was a good cause. That doesn't make all believers evil.
  • by J. Patriot Location: Hanover on Oct 14, 2010 at 07:54 AM
    Why do we practice tolerance with an intolerant religion? Isn’t this the first step to denying Christ? Muslims are out to destroy Christianity, but do we need to make it easy for them? We all already know what their goals are… what else do we need to know? In a recent study 1 out of every 4 Muslim men under the age of thirty would condone suicide bombings… When are we going to wake up to the danger that is at our doorstep? Or do we just kneel down to Allah now?
  • by TY on Sep 26, 2010 at 07:10 AM
    Will some moslum (incorrect spelling and improper capitalization on purpose) mosque return the gesture by reading the Christian Bible or the Jewish Torah??...I'll bet it doesn't happen!!!
  • by anonymous on Sep 23, 2010 at 06:39 AM
    its ashame that people believe that only the islamic have sinners! there is not 1 person that walks the face of this earth that is without sin. and there are violent people that claim to be christian too. does that mean all of us are violent? what a hippocritic thought!
  • by MIKlansman Location: Eaton County on Sep 16, 2010 at 08:59 PM
    It is sick to think that a Christian Church can honor any type of non Christian religion or any religion that deny Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior
  • by Anonymous on Sep 13, 2010 at 06:16 AM
    Ignoring other religions and not examining what they consider sacred prevents people from discovering why people go to other religions and cults. Like the government, these cults prefer to have uneducated and ignorant people.
  • by Jennifer Location: East Lansing on Sep 13, 2010 at 05:58 AM
    My husband and I have just started attending All Saints Episcopal Church and we were thrilled that our pastor reached out to the fellow EL families that are a part of the Islamic Faith. In the end, we are all brothers and sisters of humanity and if more people treated each other with respect and love, we could do so much together. The responses to this piece are sad. Pastor Kit didn't say that everything in the Koran is something we agree with. She didn't do what she did to promote another religion or do dishonor Christ. She did what she did to educated people and to open hearts and to understand that not all people of the Islamic Faith are terrorists. A small fringe element is and you know what? There is a small fringe element to Christianity that is hateful too. The Koran has portions that are divisive and archaic. So does our dear Holy Bible. This was a time to come together and support our fellow human beings and to find common ground. It worked!! Thank you, Kit. You are awesome!
  • by Scott Location: Eaton County on Sep 12, 2010 at 10:41 AM
    It is a shame that a church that would be called a Christian church would promote another religion that denies the deity of Christ. Instead of honoring Jesus, the reading of the Qu'ran elevates a human prophet over Him.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 12, 2010 at 08:03 AM
    so i guess when they got to the part of all christians and jews are perverts. and the part about beheading the infadels they must of skipped right over that islam and the qur'an are a violent group no matter what the so called REV. Carlson says
  • by Sue Location: Jackson on Sep 12, 2010 at 03:24 AM
    I like that Rev. Carlson is open minded and realizes that different religions are not evil and the best way to address this is through learning about something you have no knowledge. As they say ignorance breeds fear.
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