Islam 101

Last evening I attended yet an interfaith event at the Tempe mosque called Islam 101. At least 150 good people of various faiths attended to learn the true meaning of Islam. What they hear on Fox television is a greatly distorted version. It is rubbish that tarnishes the image of all decent, law abiding Muslims here in the USA and around the world. During the Q&A period a member of the US military said that he often hears how Muslims do not speak out against the militants. That is absolutely false. The media just doesn’t report it. Muslims speak out against ISIS and other extremists all the time. An older woman who hosts foreign exchange students spoke in glowing terms about the Middle Eastern young men for whom she provides temporary housing. The young men call her mother and show her the utmost respect. One young man’s parents came for his graduation and presented this woman with a Quran from Saudi Arabia, which she treasures. Afterwards, the audience shared refreshments and conversation. At sunset, it was time for Magrib, the fourth of five daily Islamic prayers. Everyone was invited to pray with us. I personally love to attend interfaith events. They bring people together in faith, unity, hope and respect. We do not solve all our problems and we still have differences. But interfaith events introduce us to our differences and enable us to talk to each other, not at each other. We meet new friends and bring hope to our community. In the end, we realize that we may worship differently but we are all children of God. We rise by lifting others, not by denigrating them or putting them down. Let me hear an amen for the interfaith events. Please join us for a future event.

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