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     Judeo Christian. We have become so used to the phrase that the words practically fuse together. But national Muslim groups are pushing for a change to "Judeo-Christian-Islamic" or "Abrahamic" to stress the common roots of the three faiths, as well as the growing Muslim population in this country.

     To many Americans, the shift in language, and psychology, may seem unlikely. But a few generations ago, referring to our cultural heritage as "Judeo-Christian" rather than just "Christian" would have been viewed as sacrilege in many quarters.

     The new terminology - favored by the American Muslim Alliance, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society and the American Muslim Council - never may catch on, but the underlying psychology inevitably will. Ecumenical groups across the nation are discovering that Islam, with its strong emphasis on charity, is a natural fit with other religious groups that are seeking common ground and understanding...

     The attacks awakened Americans to the fact that there is a very large and growing religion in their midst. The Muslim population of the United States is estimated as high as 7 million, already surpassing the number of Jews as well as some mainline Protestant denominations. And the great bulk of them are upstanding citizens. More and more Americans of all faiths are coming to that realization through their daily interactions with Muslims. At some point, Muslims will shed their outsider status, just as Jews and Catholics did before them...

     It is too soon to know whether Americans will grow accustomed to saying "Judeo  Christian  Islamic" or "Abrahamic." But we might. After all, many people once doubted that we ever would get used to calling Cassius Clay "Muhammad Ali" or Lew Alcindor "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

courtesy: Dallas Morning News, 5/27/03




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