|Islamic Mosque in Singapore|
photo by C. Kinnaird
We are in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which this year began on Saturday, July 21. The Islamic Center in our city has for years been hosting dinners to welcome guests during the month of Ramadan in order to explain their customs and practices to their non-Muslim neighbors. I think it is important for us to engage in interfaith dialogue. The major religions of the world are here to stay and the communities we live in are experiencing more diversity than ever. Nothing breeds conflict more quickly than ignorance and suspicion, so it is incumbent upon us to get to know our neighbors.
Jordan Denari shared her account in America Magazine about the benefits she gained from interfaith friendships. In “Jesus Among Muslims,” she states,“Through my faith journey, I have concluded that engaging in interreligious dialogue is a crucial activity, not only for learning about others but, more important, for enriching one’s own faith.” You can read the entire article here.
For further reading, one of the most hopeful and helpful books that I have read is Beyond Tolerance by Gustav Niebuhr (great nephew of Reinhold Niebuhr, grandson of Richard Niebuhr), Viking Press. You can read a review of the book here.
To read my accounts of visits with our Muslim neighbors in past years, go to the following blog posts: