EIGHTH COVENANTS INITIATIVE REPORT

EIGHTH COVENANTS INITIATIVE REPORT

Dear Signatories of the Covenants Initiative:

There is much to report since the last full Covenants Initiative Report, and there will be a lot more after this month is over.

Interest in the Covenants of the Prophet is exploding, as any one of you will have realized who has signed up for Google Alerts on “Covenants of the Prophet” and “John Andrew Morrow”. (This is something that I invite all signatories to do, since it is becoming more difficult for me to follow all the news.) The number of Dr. Morrow’s speaking engagements and media coverage of our efforts have grown exponentially, and many major events are planned for this year. I will do my best to report on the main developments.

ENDORSEMENTS

~~ ISNA, the largest Muslim organization in North America, has officially endorsed the Covenants Initiative; an article on the Initiative appears in the March/April edition of the ISNA publication Islamic Horizons, which has a large international readership:

https://issuu.com/isnacreative/docs/ih_mar-apr_16?e=5245782/33708252

~~ It will do no harm to remind everybody that Dr. Mostafa Gameaha, media representative of Al-Azhar University—the premier traditional authority in Sunni Islam—has signed the Covenants Initiative, and our colleague Gary Krupp of Pave the Way will be delivering a copy of Dr. Morrow’s book to the head Imam of that institution.

                                                                                  THE GENOCIDE INITIATIVE

Our Genocide Initiative calling on all political players to declare the actions of ISIS genocide has been credited by Stars and Stripes, the major U.S. armed services publication, as part of the effort which led to the passage of the Fortenberry resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that actually did make that declaration—a resolution which led to Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement to the same effect in March of this year.

THE MARRAKESH DECLARATION

Many of you will have heard of the Marrakesh Declaration (I briefly reported on it earlier) which grew out of a conference of Muslim leaders on Morocco this last January; it re-asserts the traditional rights of religious minorities within Muslim nations, basing its conclusions on the Constitution of Medina and the Covenants of the Prophet. We were told by Sayyid M. Syeed, the interfaith director of ISNA, that The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World and the Covenants Initiative figured prominently in the conference and were among the factors that originally inspired it.

http://www.marrakeshdeclaration.org/

TRANSLATIONS OF

THE COVENANTS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD

WITH THE CHRISTIANS OF THE WORLD

Dr. Morrow writes: “I would like to thank the Baydoun family from Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah for publishing the Arabic version of the book as well as Dr. Alain Saint-Saëns from the University Press of the South for publishing the Spanish translation.”

INDEPENDENT EFFORTS

Our movement is growing to the point where it is beginning to pass out of our hands. More and more people are making the Covenants of the Prophet their own, and this is only good. For example, Craig Considine, whose important paper “Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a ‘Muslim Nation’: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians” I sent you not long ago, is becoming recognized as an expert in this field. He credits Dr. Morrow, but now he himself is being credited by others. His paper was reported on extensively in Britain and America, including in the Daily Mail.

~~ Taqwamedia is producing an on-line course on the Covenants of the Prophet.

~~ The International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi, is putting together a traveling show on the Covenants of the Prophet which will tour museums in the United States. It was sheduled to open this September but may be postponed till next year to allow time to secure more funding.

~~ Ali Panju, Director of Ridhayatullah Theatre in England, tells us that their one-act play on the Prophet Muhammad at the Monastery of St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai, to which he granted a covenant of protection, has been entered in the All England One Act Play Festival, where it was very well received.

~~ The Covenants are being integrated into academic courses on Islamic law, economics, ethics….the list goes on.

                                                                       PAST EVENTS

 ~~ In October of last year, Dr. Morrow gave five talks in the New York area, at the Al-Khoei Center, the Long Island Muslim Society, and the Islamic Center of Long Island; where I introduced him. (He returned the favor when I spoke at the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Center in Manhattan.) Dr. Morrow also granted a TV interview at that time. Here are links to the interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KglU0VQQnDw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tl4P3B1es4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDio6XBlR8Q

Further events were:

~~ A book signing at the Muslim Group Conference. Chicago. Dec. 2015.

~~ Talk entitled “The Covenants of the Holy Prophet”;  talk entitled “Can we truly know Muhammad?”,  Muslim Group Conference. Chicago. Dec. 2015. Here are the links to these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrCrIOjtzXU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkD541MPd8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrgmcIoTzsE

~~ Talk entitled “Islam versus ISIS,” Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thursday, Nov. 19th, 2015.

~~ Talk entitled “Early Christian-Muslim Encounters: The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad

with the Christians of the World.” International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi, on Thursday, November 12th, 2015.

~~ The khutbah for the Friday prayer at the mosque in Jackson, Mississippi, on Friday, November 13th, 2015.

~~ On March 27 of this year, at Rutgers University, Dr. Morrow spoke denouncing Donald Trump at the conference “What should Muslims Say to Donald Trump?” The text of his talk (I wrote about half of it) appears at:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/03/30/muslims2trump/ , retitled as “Muslim Leaders Ask God to Water Board Trump for Eternity”. (I would like to take this opportunity to add, however, that if God elects not to water board Trump for eternity, I will gladly abide by His decision.)

UPCOMING EVENTS

Four upcoming events, three of them this month alone, fairly eclipse the earlier ones listed above:

~~ On April 14-15, Dr. Morrow will be speaking in Washington D.C. at the Annual ISNA  Interfaith and Government Outreach Forum on Capitol Hill; as part of this event he will be addressing the press conference at the National Press Building. At this event he will have an opportunity to meet senators, congressmen and other government officials, as well as important figures in the interfaith movement. He will also be receiving an award from ISNA for his work.

~~ On April 27-29, Dr. Morrow will be speaking in St. Petersburg, Russia, at a conference entitled “Inclusiveness of Divine Grace as a Principle of Interreligious Dialogue in the XXI Century”. The conference is sponsored by the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg State University, Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Moscow Islamic Institute and the State Hermitage, as well as the Grand Mufti of Russia.

~~ He will also be speaking at the 2016 ISNA National Convention in Chicago, Sept. 2-5; his presentation is still in the planning stage.

I will report on the first two events some time in May.

BEYOND THIS

Beyond this there have been more articles in the press than I’ve been able to keep track of, including interviews with both Dr. Morrow and myself in the Iranian journalThe Age of Reflection. For a complete list see http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com/ , under “News & Events”.

Keep us in your prayers.

Charles Upton

for Dr. John Andrew Morrow

and the Covenants Initiative