The action of interfaith

Religious groups on campus work to break barriers.

For the past few years, student groups of the Islamic culture, all under the umbrella group of Al-Madinah, went through much uncertainty and struggle in trying to secure a space for those fasting to come together and have dinner.

The problem was settled after Grace University Lutheran Church decided to provide its space for Al-Madinah and its guests. The congregation of about 400 to 500 people was happy to provide the hospitality of space. The idea here is not to confirm, but to honor and respect the beliefs of others. Both groups see this as an opportunity to break down divisions created both in the minds and society of people, and to build on commonality while respecting differences.

The term interfaith is discussed in various disciplines on campus, but the term is not something that is practiced most of the time. This interfaith project by Al-Madinah Cultural Center and Grace University Lutheran Church is an example of active interfaith. Many times, people find themselves criticizing events that take place abroad, and blame those torn by religious and ethnic division while failing to examine the divisions that exist within our own community.

It is optimistic to learn that campus groups, Hillel perhaps being the first, volunteered their space to another group in need. Grace University Lutheran Church was eventually decided upon since the space and location was ideal. But regardless of the final settlement, the fact that Hillel took the initiative to come forth with this offer demonstrates the group’s willingness to break barriers on campus. Despite what is perceived as inherent dislike between those of the Judea and Islamic faiths, the campus atmosphere is much lighter.

The religious division that exists will not disappear with one interfaith project. Moreover, issues of race and class continue to plague this community. The pathetic state of racial segregation in the cities is something that both students and community members should seek to dismantle.