Cardinal Francis George on Tuesday night urged Muslims and Christians to educate young people to be more tolerant of each other’s religions.

George spoke before a group of more than 200 at the ninth annual Catholic-Muslim Unity Ramadan Dinner, which was held at the Islamic Society of the Northwest Suburbs in Rolling Meadows.

Peace and tolerance should be taught to young Muslims and Christians so they can learn to listen to each other, he said.

“Where we come together not to speak about someone else, but to listen to someone speak about himself or herself from the viewpoint of their own faith,” George said.

Cardinal George prayed in solidarity with Muslim-Americans at the Iftar, or the breaking of the daily fast during Ramadan. The holy month, which honors the revelation of the Quran to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ends later this week.

“We’re impoverished indeed if we believe that we can attempt to follow God’s will for us, each one by himself or herself,” George said. “As we call ourselves communities of faith because God intends that we be gathered in his holy name and live in dependence upon him and upon one another.”

Other speakers also emphasized the similarities between the religious values of each, calling for unity.

Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, asked Christians to challenge Islamophobia, or discrimination against Muslims.

“I’d like to invite Christian friends seated here to challenge the only racism which is being considered OK in America today,” Mujahid said. “While thank God no building has gone down since 9/11 … the anti-Islamic opinion is constantly rising in America.”

U.S. officials should be proactive in combating such hate, he said. (MORE)


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