IL PASTOR: ENTER INTO DIALOGUE WITH MUSLIMS
I was delighted to see the number of people who have written supporting Muslims -- including letters from Saudi Arabia, Florida, Texas and New York -- in response to the letter warning of Islam ("Wake-up call on terror," Jan. 4).
As a pastor of Crossroads Christian Church and a member of the Metro-East Interfaith Partnership, I have visited and worshiped at the mosque in Swansea many times. I can affirm that they desire peace and are saddened by the violence done in the name of Islam. They are willing to explain their tradition and faith practices, and remain open to dialogue. The prophet Mohammed came to bring peace to a violent portion of the world, telling his followers not to provoke violence.
Rather than being suspicious of Muslims in our community, visit Masjid Islamic Center on Old Collinsville Road in Swansea, ask questions, and enter into dialogue with Muslims who live, worship and work in your community to make the world a better place to live.
In response to shown interest and concerns about Islam, the Metro-East Interfaith Partnership has planned an event on "Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbors" from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 12 at the conference center at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine.
Although the many faith traditions in our community may practice faiths in different ways, by talking with others you may discover that Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Bahais worship the same God of Abraham and Sarah.
Rev. Douglas Cripe