CAIR-CA: COMMON GROUND
For the fourth year in a row, Christians, Jews and Muslims will gather together to recognize their common heritage. This year's "Celebration of Abraham" will take place Sunday, Jan. 28, at St. James Catholic Church in Davis. The goal of the interfaith celebration is to explore the common roots of the three religions and build relationships and understanding.
People of all faiths are invited to the event, which will run from 3 to 5 p.m. at the St. James Memorial Center, 1275 B St. Previous events have drawn more than 400 people.
Hamza El-Nakhal is a Muslim leader and one of the organizers of the event. A member of the board of trustees and a former president of the Islamic Center of Davis, El-Nakhal is president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley.
"This event," he says, "is a chance for us to reconnect, learn more about each other and reflect upon our own beliefs and how we relate to one another."
El-Nakhal is one of the founders of the local tradition, initiated after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Leaders from the three major monotheistic religions met by invitation from Randy Rose, an attorney in Lodi.
"We wanted to communicate our similarities and differences," El-Nakhal explains. "We wanted to find common ground for followers of the three religions. We visited each other and developed friendships over time."