Another exquisite dinner with speaker took place at MMF on April 19, 2015. It was a night of interfaith dialog with full of quality conversation, intellectual thought and academic knowledge. Delicious Turkish food and Turkish tea were inseparable components of the event as usual. The keynote speaker was Zeki Sarıtoprak, Professor of Islamic Studies, and the author of the book Islam’s Jesus.
Saritoprak talked about his research on the place of Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam that led to the writing of the book and signed his book at the end of the program. Accordingly, Jesus is mentioned more than 90 times in the Qur’an and more than 100 times in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and is considered as the miracle of God in Islam. He is one of the great prophets along with prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad.
Sarıtoprak also talked about the miracles of Jesus in Islamic texts, his descent, the relations between Muslims and Christians, and the importance of dialog among Abrahamic faiths. He underlined the interpretation that Jesus’s descent to earth is an indication of cooperation between Muslims and Christians that will bring peace and justice to the world. He asserted that the coming together of the members of the Abrahamic religions under the belief on oneness of God, is a very important goal that can help solve world’s problems and injustices.
At the end of the program, the participants had a chance to ask questions. Among the questions Sarıtoprak answered was a question regarding extremist groups who interpret Qur’anic verses selectively and out-of-context in justifying their political agenda. He emphasized that Christians and Jews are People of the Book and have a special status in Islam. Further conversation with the speaker took place while he signed his book for the interested participants.