Q: The namaz you performed during Iftar Party at Bishop’s house invited some protest from the people of God; how do you take it? Does it indicate that even in the Christian community there is some antipathy to Muslims? Do you regret having performed the namaz or do you now think you could have done it differently?
A: “There is growing intolerance and fundamentalistic attitude all around towards other religions, which is not healthy. But I won’t mind any criticism that is balanced and genuine. Some people are there who suppress the truth. Their intentions are not right. There is unfortunately antipathy towards Muslims, may be based on certain bitter experiences. But it is not a healthy situation at all. We should show greater understanding and help to build a healthy community. Ultimately, our aim should be to create harmony in society. If our faith is not helping us to create that harmony, then we should introspect. I do not regret doing the namaz at all, because I did it with a sincere intention. Such interaction and dialogue should be promoted. But I agree that the mode of interaction could have been different. Still I am open to other communities, and I believe Christians should always keep that in mind. We should be open to any community or religion. Without that openness we cannot claim to be Christians. That is also the wish expressed by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium.”
Bp Alex Vadakumthala