In Europe there are millions of Muslims and Christians. We live in the same city or same village, in the same neighborhood, same streets or even the same buildings. We meet in the supermarket, school, workplace, sports club, in the tram or train, but have little outside contact. We keep our worlds to ourselves and develop our friendships mostly with people of the same religious background. We talk mostly about each other, often in prejudices and stereotypes, but rarely with each other. We barely immerse ourselves in each others living environment, and our understanding of each other is mainly determined by the behavior of extreme representatives of the others’ religion and the image that the media gives of the other. This keeps us at arm’s length from each other and we move as strangers through life and also pass attitude on to our children. It is time that Muslims and Christians stand together against the hardening of European societies and start to actively work on developing friendly relations with each other. One of the biggest obstacles for this is the reciprocal negative image.
To do something about this, I have developed two courses, one for Christians, under the title “Sharing Lives” (see www.sharinglives.eu ) and one for Muslims under the title “Living with Christians.” Both courses consist of five classes and the structure of the courses is similar.
Overview of the course Living with Christians
In Lesson 1 we consider the negative image among Muslims of Christianity. To what extent do we recognize ourselves in the most common stereotypes? We will review the causes and consequences of these negative images and present some tools to overcome fears and prejudices regarding Christians.
In Lesson 2 we look at what the Quran teaches about dealing with Christians.
In lesson 3 we discuss the basic tenets of Christian faith and will review the main similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity.
In Lesson 4 we visit a local church and have a conversation with the Christians there.
In Lesson 5, we discuss various practical issues that are important in everyday relations between Muslims and Christians.