In this post I am soliciting help for a woman named Rachel Sage, who is a grad student at Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and is working on a thesis on Mormon-Muslim relations.
First, a bit about Rachel. She is from San Francisco and Alaska and served a mission to Italy. Soon after her mission she attended BYU Jerusalem, and went on to get a BA in Government and International Politics with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at George Mason University. She has lived in Jerusalem, Lebanon, Egypt and most recently returned from a five-month stint at the University of Jordan, where she was studying Islamic culture and law as well as Arabic. Due to an illness in her family she cut her time in Jordan short and is now living in Las Vegas.
She is interested in fostering Mormon-Muslim dialogue and in establishing a task force or coalition to facilitate such interaction. I quote below the specific help she is looking for:
1) I’m looking for any LDS inter-religious alliance, group, organization etc. to set a precedence for the kind of coalition I’m proposing.
2) I’m looking for any literature other than what can be easily found from the general precursory web searches on Mormon-Muslim relations (since I am likely to already have it), including published, non-published, opinion pieces, and journal entries. I am particularly interested on literature from Muslims on Mormons if any exists.
3) I’m interested in conducting interviews with any Mormons and Muslims who have been involved with Mormon-Muslim relations and feel they can add insight to the topic. I am looking for comparative commentary (such as a Muslim who has interacted with various religious groups and can comment comparatively on their interaction with Muslims and similar situations with Mormons.) This isn’t only if it was positive, as I’m looking to identify the polemics of such interaction on which to base my recommendations for improvement as well.
4) Lastly, I’m looking for anyone in Las Vegas who would be interested in participating in an inter-religious dialogue “break-the-fast/ Iftar” October 7th, which is the Fast Sunday that coincides with the Muslim month of fasting Ramadan. Similar events have been held in Stake Centers, Universities and LDS Institute buildings, this one happens to be in the cultural hall of a mosque in Las Vegas. Because of this, I am particularly in need of people who have the talent of galvanizing people to action in the LDS community.
You may share experiences in the comments below or contact Rachel directly. Her phone number is 702-883-1974 and her e-mail is RLS33 AT Georgetown DOT edu.