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International Review of Education

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 423–437 | Cite as

Interfaith education: An Islamic perspective

  • Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini
Original Paper

Abstract

According to a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad, “the quest for knowledge is the duty of each Muslim, male or female”, where knowledge is meant as the discovery of the real value of things and of oneself in relationship with the world in which God has placed us. This universal dimension of knowledge is in fact a wealth of wisdom of the traditional doctrine naturally linked to the cultural and spiritual heritage of every human being and every believer of every faith. It allows for the respect of internal and external differences as positive elements of the cultural and spiritual heritage of mankind. In this sense, intercultural and interfaith education plays a fundamental role and fits naturally within the Islamic religious education framework. The author of this article is Vice-President and Imam of the Islamic Religious Community in Italy (Comunità Religiosa Islamica [COREIS] Italiana), an organisation which has been providing teachers and students with training on Islam and interfaith dialogue for almost twenty years with the support of the regional and national offices of the Italian Ministry of Public Education. Referring to existing interreligious and intercultural societies such as Azerbaijan, and a number of successful initiatives and projects, several of which COREIS is involved in, he demonstrates how interfaith education can effectively contribute to preventing the diffusion of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and radicalism.

Keywords

interfaith education Islam Christianity 

Résumé

Éducation interconfessionnelle : une perspective islamique – Selon un enseignement du prophète Mahomet, « la quête du savoir est une obligation pour tout musulman, homme ou femme », le savoir étant entendu ici comme la découverte de la valeur réelle des choses et de soi-même, en relation avec le monde dans lequel Dieu nous a placés. Cette dimension universelle du savoir est en fait une source de sagesse de la doctrine traditionnelle, naturellement liée au patrimoine culturel et spirituel de tout être humain et de tout croyant de toute confession. Elle permet le respect des différences internes et externes en tant qu’éléments positifs du patrimoine culturel et spirituel de l’humanité. Dans cet esprit, l’éducation interculturelle et interconfessionnelle assume un rôle fondamental et trouve naturellement sa place dans le contexte de l’éducation religieuse islamique. L’auteur de l’article est vice-président et imam de la communauté religieuse islamique d’Italie (Comunità Religiosa Islamica [COREIS] Italiana), organisme qui dispense depuis presque vingt ans aux enseignants et élèves des cours sur l’islam et le dialogue interconfessionnel, avec le soutien des directions régionales et nationales du ministère italien de l’éducation publique. Se référant aux sociétés interreligieuses et interculturelles existantes telles que l’Azerbaïdjan, et à divers projets et initiatives concluants, COREIS étant impliquée dans plusieurs d’entre eux, il montre que l’éducation interconfessionnelle peut contribuer à prévenir efficacement la propagation de l’antisémitisme, de l’islamophobie et du radicalisme.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CO.RE.IS. (Comunità Religiosa Islamica) ItalianaMilanItaly

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