I am a Christian; an Anglican Priest in fact. It is well that you know this before beginning to read, for while at least half of this "Sacred Violence" essay attempts to express the values and ideals of Islam, I can only speak with some modest authority about Christianity. The fictional Shaykh Muhammad Ibadiyah is my own creation and I must take full responsibility for any errors in Islamic doctrine which he might unintentionally express. Where possible I have tried to indicate in footnotes my sources for any potentially doubtful teaching placed on the Shaykhs lips.
Any contribution to inter-religious dialogue should have some basis in experience. Although my primary sources are literary, I am very grateful to have been able to enter into direct dialogue with two patient and generous members of the Muslim community, Mr. Muhammad Inayatulla and Mr. Waheed Mustapha, both of Winnipeg. Their wisdom, their advice, and their resources were invaluable to me. I hope that including their names here will not link them to the weakness of this paper but to its strength.