Communication between secular groups headed by businessmen and scientists has been very successful and led to growth in the areas of technology and trade. Religious groups and their leaders have not succeeded in achieving anywhere near the same levels of communication and the result has been minimal to non-existent success in tackling societal issues such as ethnic strife, cruelty, poverty, injustice and inequity.
Every individual and group is adversely affected by this failure in communication between religious institutions and leaders that have a great influence upon our lives. Anyone struggling to sort through the fallout from this failure has a long and lonely road in front of them. This book describes the journey of one such person and her attempts to make sense out of the seemingly endless contradictions and confusion that is the result of a lack of relevant discourse between non secular groups.
During her search she discovered that passages in scriptures specifically condemning and warning against isolationism and ostracism have been interpreted to convey the exact opposite message—one that encourages separatism, exclusivity and elitism instead. One such passage in the Quran states:
“Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends to one another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” Surah V, Ayah 51
The above verse is in the same chapter of the Quran as the verse stating that Muslims are allowed to marry Christians and Jews. So Muslims can marry Christians and Jews but not be friends with them. This can make for some very convoluted relationships in such marriages. Contradictions such as these are obviously going to lead to conflict with no way to resolve it in sight and no help from any outside source. Everyone in the family suffers and from there the community and so on.
Historically there were times when people from different religions came together in order to work on communicating with one another, not with the intent to convert others to their faith, but in an attempt to solve problems that business, science and technology cannot. In the end, After the Clear Signs is an appeal to open the lines of communication and begin constructive discourse between the many faith traditions in America and beyond.