Omar Sillah Launched “The Journal of African Christian and Muslim Reflections” in the Gambia

“The Journal of African Christian and Muslim Reflections” is an initiative of two African scholars: JPII Leader Omar Sillah (Cohort IV, Gambia) and Moussa Serge Traore (Burkina Faso). They studied together at the Institute of Religions and Cultures of the Pontifical Gregorian University from 2006 to 2008. Omar Sillah is a Muslim scholar with Sufi background, and Moussa Serge Traore is a Catholic priest and a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa.

The Journal initiative started in 2020 with a primary objective to promote African scholars in the field of Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa, as well as African perspectives on academic reflections about Christian-Muslim relations.

“The idea came from a project launched in 2010 by the Ghaneen scholar Dr. John Azumah who initiated The African Christian and Islam Project (ACI),” shares Omar Sillah. He adds, “The ACI was a search for academic reflection from African Christian scholars on Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations in Africa.” The ACI project organized two academic conferences and published a book. After 10 years, Fr. Moussa Serge Traore and Omar Sillah decided to revive the ACI project by proposing a more dialogical approach.

Reflecting on his experience, Omar Sillah says that he is excited to promote academic reflections by African scholars on Muslim-Christian Relations in Africa. Being insiders, sometimes it might be challenging to produce a high-quality academic reflection on Muslim-Christian relations. It is worth mentioning that it is the first project about reflections on Muslim-Christian dialogue initiated by African scholars and based in Africa. According to Omar Sillah, the main challenge ahead is maintaining such a project through grants and subscriptions since it is a voluntary initiative.

Omar Sillah concludes, “The Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Dialogue with all its reputable and erudite professors and courses equipped me with practical knowledge and information that are very resourceful in everyday life; it also widened my horizon in multi-faith and multi-cultural co-existence in diversity.”