They arrived as strangers filled with questions and perhaps a bit of fear, but they left smiling with vows to meet again.

About 70 people gathered in late April at the Islamic Center of South Florida in Pompano Beach for an interfaith event that was designed to bring together Jews, Christians and Muslims — and anyone who wished to learn about the other. “Speaking Out Loud: Similarities & Differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam” was a success, organizers said.

Organized by JAM & All, an organization of Jews, Muslims, Christians and others, the event was an effort to bring together people with diverse religious beliefs and to show them what they have in common.

It was accomplished by a series of exercises that went a long way toward accomplishing unity — in the form of recognizing similarities between peoples of faith, and learning how to agree to disagree on some of the differences.

“The more you know people, the more you love them,” said Kamruz Hosein, president of JAM. “We have different flowers created in the world, and a part of that beautiful garden is humankind.”

The meeting at the mosque was part of a three-pronged approach to bringing people together, said JAM member Kathy Leonard.

During the evening, people sitting at each table shared who they were, where they were from, their faith and then sought to find similarities and differences. Many said the differences were the hardest to identify. (MORE)


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