Last week on Viterbo University's campus, the Identities Project sponsored a community forum to speak about Islamophobia as Muslims today are the victims of hatred just because of their religious affiliation.
Why is religious hatred still plaguing us in 2017 so many centuries later and what do we do about it?
The dialogue has begun and must continue in all our communities.
|L to R Sister Laura, Wale, Steve, Vince and Trevor|
This particular forum consisted of 2 Viterbo professors in the Department of Religion; Sister Laura and Steve,
Wale, a local Muslim resident,
Vince, past Director of the Franciscan Spirituality Center
and Trevor, vet of the war in Afghanistan, now a nursing student.
With a short summary he explained Islam as a monotheistic (Allah) Abrahamic religion with Mohammed as its last prophet, prayers 5x/day and pilgrimages.
Doesn't sound like something we should fear, right?
The evening's questions also included:
Can Christianity and Islam coexist?
*General consensus :yes
What are the problems now?
* Rise of fear
* Elimination of the problem
How was it as an American soldier being in a Muslim country?
*Difficult experiencing hatred of U.S. soldiers towards Muslims *Extremist groups don't represent the majority nor the religion
* ISIS does more injury to itself
What are some solutions?
* Universities attracting Muslim students to have a presence
* Learn about differences between religions and cultures
* Educate oneself
* Communicate more
* Cultivate a loving heart
* Use one's voice in the face of discrimination
* Education has to be worldwide recognizing beliefs and ethics
How would you have answered these questions?
'Tis the season to be jolly? Time to work harder to make sure all our neighbors can be. Time to work on eliminating discrimination.