Fostering inter-communal relations and reinforcing the image of Islam as a religion of peace.

Fostering inter-communal relations and expressing the willingness of Muslims to work with other communities for the betterment of society.

Reinforcing the image of Islam as a religion of peace, as well as a religion that is broad-minded (and not one that is narrow-minded and exclusive).

How does RISEAP reconcile its role in da’wah together with its role in fostering inter-communal relations? The answer to this question is that RISEAP does not see incompatibility in these two roles because RISEAP is guided by the Qur’anic injunctions:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Truth stands out clear from error”.

Al-Imran (2:256)


وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ ۚ

“And say: ‘The truth (has now come) from your Sustainer: let, then, him who will, believe in it, and let him who will, reject it’.”

Al-Kahf (18:29).

RISEAP believes that the role of Muslims in da’wah is merely to deliver the message as best as we can, and not beyond that. If Allah has granted all human beings the free will to choose for themselves what to believe in, then it is not for us to violate that right that Allah has granted, by going beyond the responsibility of conveying the message. Interpreted in this sense, da’wah can co-exist with the fostering of inter-communal relations with people of other faith traditions, particularly in plural societies.

RISEAP intends to support programs that enhances the image of Muslims as being open-minded (as opposed to narrow-minded) in thinking, forward-looking and willing to live side-by-side, and in harmony, with other non-Muslim communities. It intends to support programs that promote Islam as an open, magnanimous and positive religion, in order to counteract those who preach a parochial version of Islam.

Australia and New Zealand are taking the lead in the formation of interfaith organizations and RISEAP has helped to sponsor a number of interfaith programs in both Australia and New Zealand. Singapore has established its Religious Harmony Centre, in October 2006, to facilitate inter-faith interaction. The Centre for Islamic Studies of Sri Lanka has expressed its intention to build its Harmony Centre in the near future.