Greetings WAC community,
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – I John 4:8
All your images of winter I see against your sky.
I understand the wounds that have not healed in you.
They exist because God and love
Have yet to become real enough
To allow you to forgive the dream.
– From the poem Forgive the Dream by Sufi Master Hafiz
Casper Star-Tribune reporter Elysia Conner covered the Wyoming Association of Churches’ event in Casper yesterday aimed to promote a deeper understanding of the Muslim faith. trib.com/event-aims-to-promote-understanding-of-islam
Over 30 Wyoming folks participated in yesterday’s conversations. Most came to learn; some came to be critical of Muslims based on their fears, negative stereotypes from the media and intolerance of those who believe differently.
The scholars, Dr. Mohamed Salih from Cheyenne and Dr. Brad Tyndall from Riverton, shared facts, stories and experiences that told of Muslims who are mostly good and kind, but also acknowledging that a small percentage interpret the Quran in ways that cause great harm. Neither is blind to the terrorism and hate, but they want us to know that only a few are bad and evil, something both abhor. There are bad Muslims like there are bad Christians. The Quran repeatedly describes Allah as compassionate and merciful and tells many stories about Jesus as a prophet who performed numerous miracles and born of Mary, a virgin, but not that Jesus is God.
Saturday was the first time Mohamed and Brad met face-to-face. They have both spoken on this topic to many audiences following 9-11-2001 to seek healing. Mohamed, who came to the United States as a student nearly five decades ago from Sudan, practices the Muslim faith. Brad, who was in Sudan as a Peace Corps volunteer, has studied it and shared that “Understanding the Muslim faith has made me a better Christian.”
For those who would like a copy of the slides Mohamed presented can request those from him by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brad has a website www.mysticpita.com and a Facebook page Mystic Pita with thousands of followers devoted to building understanding about Muslims.
Several attending asked that we sponsor more events like this.
Thanks to Think WY, the Wyoming Humanities Council, for its financial support of the Wyoming Association of Churches sponsoring this event.
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.