Common Ground Between
Islam and Buddhism
By Reza Shah-Kazemi
With an essay by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
H. H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama H. R. H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali
The Common Word initiative of one hundred and thirty-eight Muslim religious leaders and academics, which advanced Muslim-Christian dialogue along theological grounds and themes of common concern to both religions, has borne fruit thanks to the earnest subsequent efforts and organizational support of numerous distinguished per- sonalities on both sides. The Royal Aal Bayt Foundation for Islamic Thought in Jordan took the initiative in September 2007 to formulate a Muslim response to Pope Benedict XVI’s somewhat controversial Regensberg lecture of the previous year. In the meantime, follow- up encounters took place between the Pope and Muslim leaders. Instead of engaging with the Pope from a defensive posture, the Muslim leaders launched the Common Word initiative reflecting the Qur’ānic invocation asking Muslims to call on the followers of scripture to come to a word common between us and you... (3:64) as a focus of their dialogue. The positive response from the Christian side led to several encounters and international conferences which opened new vistas of beneficial dialogue with their Muslim coun- terparts.