Christine Schirrmacher, professor of Islamic Studies in Bonn and Leuven, and head of the International Institute of Islamic Studies of the World Evangelical Alliance, visited several institutions in Singapore to lecture on Islamism, discuss Islam as a topic in higher education, and meet Muslim leaders in Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Schirrmacher lectured on research and teaching Islam to the leaders of Christian institutions of higher learning from all continents meeting in Singapore for the annual conference of the International Council for Higher Education (ICHE).
Prof. Schirrmacher was also invited by the Harmony Center, a state supported center for Muslim learning, for an exchange of ideas about the reasons for the rise of violence and extremism worldwide and the necessity of strengthening the moderate voices.
In the evening of the same day, the Comparative Religions Interest Group (CRIG), a network of doctoral students in the field of religious studies, invited Schirrmacher to deliver a lecture about the necessity of dialogue, which was attended by 100 Muslims and Christians.
In a following panel discussion, the senior executive of the Harmony Center, Mohamed Imran, joined Schirrmacher to emphasize how important it is that Muslims and Christians get to know each other more intensively and undertake a common effort to prevent young people from being attracted to Islamic radicalism by feeling disconnected to the community.
The next day Schirrmacher lectured on “Engaging and Serving our Neighbors in Contexts: from Africa to Asia,” for a meeting of Christian leaders from Singapore and foreigners living in Singapore. Schirrmacher emphasized the need for engaging in research into different religious groups so that we do not mistakenly assume that all members of a world religion believe the same or practice their faith in the same way. We can and must relate to what the people we engage with actually believe and practice.
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