Monday, January 12, 2009

Immunizing Against Bigotry

The Islamic Society of North America and the American Baptist Church (USA) got together over the weekend to organize a Baptist-Muslim conference in the lovely Chapel building of the Andover Newtown Theological School in Needham, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. More than any presentation by any scholar, what struck me was the gradual ice-breaking that occurred in successive sessions as the attendees got to know each other. I can't think of a more effective way to defeat bigotry in this world than to build deep and meaningful relationships and friendships with the good people of other faiths. The Qur'an assures us that in the face of the truth, falsehood eventually must retreat.

One way to get even greater mileage out of these meetings is to bring our respective youth to them. The older generation certainly benefits from it, but younger people would walk away immunized from bigory for life.
Update: Detailed articles on this event:

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