LOS ANGELES: Muslim Americans, with a coalition of Jewish and Christian partners, are engaging in a nationwide week of open interfaith dialogue, starting in mid-October. There is a real need for Muslim and non-Muslim American communities to better understand and interact with one another, given recent debates on Islam and a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment across the United States.
Addressing head on the question “Why don’t Muslim Americans engage more?” Muslim Americans will invite people of all faiths to visit their mosques during this week and, likewise, encourage Muslims to attend non-Muslim houses of worship.
This outreach initiative will feature programs and discussions, such as the one at The Islamic Center of Southern California on 17 October, which was designated Open Mosque Day. There, speakers addressed timely issues and examined the historical and moral foundations upon which the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims can be constructed positively. The 17 October discussion addressed the question: “How should Muslims interact with non-Muslims in an era fraught with hostility and conflict, while remaining true to Islam?” In addition, an Islamic center in nearby Irvine also opened its doors on Open Mosque Day to invite all Americans to learn more about Islam, stating that in doing so, it is: “Recognizing our common humanity. Celebrating our diversity. And respecting each other.”