Do you always bring a prayer rug with you? Must you pray at a fixed time? How do you pray during the work day? Do you have a Shabbat?
These were among the questions posed by more than three dozen attendees at last week’s meeting of an interfaith dialogue group at Daar Ul Islam, a West County mosque, in an effort to find common ground and explore differences among religious groups.
“This is about understanding faith and how we practice it more than anything else,” said Rick Isserman, one of the group’s founders and a member of Central Reform Congregation. “It’s not to proselytize. It’s to understand.”
Fellow organizer Khalid Shah, one of the group’s Muslim participants, said honest conversations can sometimes be difficult but they are necessary to build connections that can be of use during times of trouble.
“It’s very important that dialogue not just be polite because you really do want to understand each other,” he said, “so we’ve created an environment where you can be comfortable that no one’s going to come and necessarily have an agenda but at the same time we have very different points of view and everyone should feel comfortable airing them.”