EDINBURGH (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – Interfaith gatherings between Muslims and Christians are routine and should be commended, Mazhar Khan, Secretary of the Muslim Council of Scotland told Sputnik on Friday.
The statement comes a day after a Church of England vicar was chastised for holding a joint Islamic and Christian service at his church in London.
“In terms of interfaith activities there will be occasions when faith groups will come together in a place of worship. These things happen all the time and I don’t see that as being an issue, although I don’t know the specifics of the case,” Khan said.
Reverend Giles Goddard of St. John’s Church in central London has faced an angry backlash from traditionalist members of his clergy and fellow vicars after he held a joint service in which he reportedly told worshipers to give thanks to “the God that we love, Allah” after reading a passage from the Bible.
Khan, however, welcomed initiatives to bring communities from different religious backgrounds together.
The Muslim Council secretary also praised the fact that vicars and imams are free from interference and direction by the authorities.
“In Britain Vicars in the Church of England or Imams are free to do what they want and preach what they want without direction from the government,” he told Sputnik.
The recent case in London is not the first time a Christian minister comes under fire in the United Kingdom for opening his church's doors to Muslims.
In 2013, reverend Isaac Poobalan, a minister at St. John's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen became the target of online abuse after he agreed to allow local Muslims to regularly practice their faith in his church as their local mosque was too small to accommodate the Muslim congregation.
Muslims from the Syed Shah Mustafa Jame Masjid mosque, located a short distance from St. John’s, worship up to five times a day at the Christian facility.