Muslim Scholars Back Call for Interfaith Dialogue

ING News & Information, 6/13/08

In this Edition:

  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Latest News on ING Blog
  • ING Speaker Presents at Oak Grove High School, 6/05/08
  • ING Speaker Participates in Castro Valley High Graduation, 6/08/08
  • Thank You for Your Support

Mark Your Calendar:

Masjidul Waritheen Annual Supporters Dinner

Sunday, June 15, 6 PM – 9 PM
Chandni Restaurant, Newark
$25 donation – reserve your seat now at

Confirmed Speakers:
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Zaytuna Institute
Shareef Abdur Raheem, NBA Forward, Sacramento Kings
Imam Faheem Shuaibe, Imam, Masjidul Waritheen

ING’s Annual Supporters Dinner & Eid Holiday Celebration

Sunday, October 5, 2008
“Telling Our Stories, Transforming the World”
Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara
6 PM – 9 PM
Register online:

Keynote Speaker: Professor John L. Esposito
Entertainment: Maz Jobrani
ING Awards: “Building Bridges” and “Excellence in Cultural Diversity Education”

Latest News on ING Blog
News relating to education on cultural diversity, interfaith relations, and separation of church and state

Muslim Scholars Back Call for Interfaith Dialogue

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — “Muslim scholars meeting in Saudi Arabia wrapped up a three-day conference Friday by calling for efforts to ease tensions within Islam and boost dialogue with Christians and Jews. The conference in the holy city of Mecca was designed to reconcile brewing discontent between Islam’s two main branches, Sunni and Shiite, before the kingdom launches a landmark initiative for talks with adherents of other monotheistic faiths. In a statement reported by the official Saudi Press Agency, the scholars stressed the need for dialogue with other religions to give a “correct picture of Islam” and to reach “out to other sects of Islam, which will lead to uniting the nation.” They also called for “solving the problems and disagreements that might take place among Muslims and other (non-Muslims) … and to achieve an understanding among civilizations and human cultures.” Saudi King Abdullah, one of Sunni Islam’s most prominent figures, spoke at the start of the conference and urged Muslims to get on the same page ahead of opening dialogue with Christians and Jews. Shiite Iranian politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also attended the conference, and on the first day sat at Abdullah’s left in a gesture of unity between the two major sects. Saudi Arabia has presented its proposal for interfaith dialogue as a strictly religious initiative.”
Full story:

Britain’s First Interfaith Game Show to Air on Muslim TV
By Ethan Cole, Christian Post Reporter

“What is thought to be the first interfaith game show in Britain will begin broadcasting next week to dozens of countries on the Islam Channel. The show, “Faith Off,” draws contestants with religious backgrounds from Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, and has them compete for cash prizes by answering questions on both general and religious knowledge. Producer Abrir Hussain said his goal in creating the show is to facilitate better understanding between different religions. “I wanted to do something to promote good relations and bring a new approach to the interfaith debate other than that of the usual consultative round table format,” Hussain explained to Ecumenical News International. . . . The show’s producer hopes participants and viewers will recognize the similarities between religions rather than only the differences, and build better relations. “We’re living in a multi-faith, multi-cultural society,” Hussain told the Guardian newspaper. ‘You learn about religions at school and then you forget, so it’s about transferring the basic blocks of knowledge,” he said, “it’s also about learning the similarities between religions, instead of focusing on the differences.’”
Full story:

Events of Interest:

ING Speaker Participates in Castro Valley High Graduation, 6/08/08

Long time ING speaker, Uzma Husaini took part in an Interfaith Baccalaureate graduation ceremony at Castro Valley High School on Sunday, June 8th. The ceremony included interfaith representatives from various faith traditions, student presentations and music, and speeches by school officials. The interfaith speakers each gave words of encouragement to the graduating students, congratulating them on their accomplishments, and providing them with advice for their future. This is the second year that an ING speaker has been invited to this inclusive event; ING speakers have also been part of Castro Valley’s Days of Diversity for many years, for which the school received an award from ING.

ING Speaker Presents at Oak Grove High School, 6/05/08

An ING speaker delivered presentations to two classes of high school at Oak Grove High School on Thursday, June 5. She presented a presentation titled, Getting to Know American Muslims and Islam to the two world history classes as part of their study of the Middle East. ING has witnessed a steady growth in the number of requests from high schools, particularly in the spring semester, as world history and world culture teachers attempt to address some of the prevailing misconceptions about Islam and Muslims among high school students that often surface in conversations or interaction with Muslim or Arab students. Education is key to providing an understanding and greater tolerance of other cultures and peoples.

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