Mormon-Muslim Interfaith Ramadan Dinner in Washington, D.C. Area

The following is a notice from Rachel Sage for our friends in the Washington, D.C. area:

FIFTH ANNUAL MORMON- MUSLIM INTERFAITH RAMADAN DINNER

Dear Brothers and Sisters

An interfaith organization, which originated at Georgetown University, called “Muslims and Latter-day Saints United for Values” (MLUV) has been holding Mormon-Muslim “break-the-fasts” in the Washington DC area since 2002.

We invite you to experience this special opportunity to fast together–Mormons and Muslims in the spirit of unity and understanding.

When: Sunday, September 16th, 7pm (Sunset)
Where: Sully Government Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly, VA 20151
What: Mormon-Ahmadiyya Muslim Interfaith Ramadan Event
Why: To represent your religion in the spirit of inter-religious dialogue, and to learn about Islam in a spiritual and friendly atmosphere.
How: RSVP by responding to rls33 at georgetown dot edu or by calling 702-883-1974 (we can accept only 50 LDS attendees, so please be 100% committed to coming and staying for the entire 2 hours)

Ramadan is a spiritual month in which those of the Muslim faith fast from sunrise to sunset. While you are not required to fast since this year our DC event does not fall on a fast Sunday, we invite you to fast if you wish and regardless to join in their break-the-fast dinner (called Iftar) on September 16th, 2007. The evening will include talks on the LDS faith and Islam in the spirit of inter-religious dialogue.

In a recent talk by President Boyd K. Packer, he stated, “Church members and Muslims share similar high standards of decency, temperance, and morality. We have so much in common. As societal morality and behavior decline in an increasingly permissive world, the Church and many within Islam increasingly share natural affinities.”

In previous years, Mormons and Muslims who have participated have experienced great bonds of brother and sisterhood. Here are some comments from those who attended similar events in previous years:

“What an honor to participate! It really touched me when the young man shared that once we all set aside our doctrinal differences, we share the same pursuit of truth, honesty, integrity and justice. I look forward to participating in the future.”

“Our presence really resonated with our Muslim friends. This spirit of reaching out without prejudice or guile will be remembered and the start of something great.”

“What an incredible experience! I enjoyed it more than I can say. And I learned so much about Muslims and Islam. Having the opportunity to sit down and discuss so frankly and openly what others believe in was a unique, unmatched opportunity. I wish that more people could have participated.”

Suggestions on how to help make this event successful and positive:

• Represent your faith in an inter-religious manner, that is, in the spirit of sharing and especially learning.
• Be punctual, we ask that you arrive in time to put on your name tag and be seated before prayers (7:15). Prayers must start at Sunset. It is very respectful to arrive well ahead of time as to not interrupt the prayers.
• Utmost modesty is encouraged such as covering arms and legs and avoiding tight and low cut clothing.
• Come prepared to make friends. Bring your business cards, exchange numbers, share invites to church and service activities—they will be well received we promise!
• We encourage open dialogue of other issues that you may have always wondered about after watching the news, such as wearing the veil, attitudes toward towards violence and terrorism. You will find the Ahmadi-Muslims to be extremely open, kind and welcome of all the questions regarding the sensitive and difficult issues facing Islam today.

Together we can help make this a very special event for Latter-day Saints and Muslims to come together in mutual understanding and as President Packer recently said while introducing the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia:

“Alwi, a devout Muslim of Arabic ancestry, and I, a Christian and devout Mormon, have agreed to symbolically walk arm in arm into the future. Together we hope to build a bridge. Except what that symbolizes is accomplished, all of us face a very dark and very dangerous future.”

It is by dialogue and truly listening to one another we can break down walls and build bridges of understanding.

Rachel Sage
p.s. Some information about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

* The Ahmadiyya Muslim’s motto is “Love For All Hatred for None”.
*They are to the Muslim faith what the Mormons are to Christianity (see the following points)
*They believe to be the true faith of Islam as restored by a modern day restorer.
*They suffered great persecution in Pakistan where their leader established and restored Islam and are rejected by all other sects of Islam because of it.
* They reject violence in all forms.
* They are highly structured and organized much like our church. They even have a woman’s auxiliary much like our Relief Society.
* They are the fastest growing Muslim sect, with the majority of their converts coming from mainstream Sunni Islam.

—————————————–
Rachel L. Sage

Georgetown University- Master’s Candidate
Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding

Comments

  1. Julie M. Smith says:

    Oooh, I’m jealous.

  2. Steve Evans says:

    Wonderful stuff.

  3. Very, very cool.

  4. cj douglass says:

    Interestingly enough – I grew up near Chantilly and have a Christian friend from high school who is interested in Mormonism and Islam. Sounds like an event he should attend.

  5. What a wonderful concept – and the background of this particular group would be fascinating to understand better. I sincerely wish I could be there.

  6. The RSVP number shown is 702-883-1974 but Northern Virginia has a 703 area code. I tried the 702 number and was cut off early with a recording. When I tried the number using 703 as the area code the recording said the number is not in service. Can anyone verify this.

    In the meantime, I’ll try the e-mail address.

  7. Mormons don’t have any particular reason to oppose the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam – but we should be aware that many mainstream Muslims would consider this group to be completely heretical and not even Muslim.

    From the traditional Muslim perspective, the Ahmadiyya sect breaks one of the most significant Islamic principles – that there can be no other Messenger/Prophet after Muhammad.

    It is not entirely clear to me if Saudi Arabia still bans Ahmadis from participating in the Haj. I’ll have to look around to see what is going on with that.

    Again, I have nothing against this group at all. It just occurs to me that so-called mainstream Muslims might not look too happily on Mormons participating in this and referring to this group as “Muslim.”

  8. You can read more about Ahmadis here.

    I’m sure there’s all kinds of other information about them online.

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    The only other phone number I have is 702.896.1690.

  10. After checking the wiki site I tend to agree with Danithew. This sect seems like they are apostate muslims. Kind of like how mainstream christians look at the LDS. You can ask them questions all you want about jihad but you will not hear what a traditional mainstream muslim believes. You will hear what a member of this sect believes.

    I am a big fan of inter-faith service projects but not a fan of inter-faith religious services.

  11. Neat idea. I’d love to be able to attend.

  12. Kevin Barney says:

    Yes, as Rachel’s announcement makes clear, this particular group is to mainstream Islam as Mormonism is to mainstream Christianity. (Although numbers are hard to come by, they appear to have a similar number of adherents as Mormonism does as well, roughly 10 million.) Their particular “sin” is to acknowledge a prophet post Muhammad; in mainstream Islam, Muhammad was the “seal” of the prophets and there can be no more after him.

  13. bbell: Followers of the Ahmadiyya madhhab certainly would by many Muslims – probably the vast majority – be considered to be outside of Islam as they believe in it. However, it hardly seems appropriate for us as Mormons to be labelling them as “apostate” any more than it would be appropriate for Muslims to be deciding which Christians count as “apostate” Christians or “true” Christians.

    Also, I wonder what you think a “mainstream muslim believes” about jihad? First, I’d like to know what a “mainstream” muslim looks like? I have many Muslims in my family and among my friends and I’d have to say they ran the gamut in their views of the world and Islam and I’m not quite sure which one I should pick as being the standard of “mainstream”? And even once that is chosen “jihad” (and it’s derivative “mujahideen”) is a word that shows up in the Bible and the Book of Mormon just as it does in the Quran so I’m not quite sure why any given Muslim should have the last say on what it means any more than any given Christian or Muslim should have the last word on what a term like say “faith” means.

  14. Thank you Brother Barney for posting this!

    For more information about Mormon-Muslim Interfaith events, please see my website: http://WWW.MLUVinterfaith.org
    (it’s a work in progress)

    As mentioned MLUV (Muslims & Latter-day Saints United for Values) has been doing events for the past 5 years. We have always worked with all Muslims regardless of sect or creed.

    There is no particular reason why we are working with the Ahmadis this year, other than I am no longer living in Washington DC and my dear Ahmadi-Muslim friends are willing to do most of the work allowing me to organize long distance.

    There will be other Muslim sects there such as Sunnis. However, they are all accepting of the Ahmadis on a personal level. Obviously we prefer that only those who accept Mormons and Ahmadis as Christians and Muslims respectively are in attendance.

    By the way, I’m not sure why the phone number didn’t work for the one brother. I am indeed in Las Vegas which is 702-883-1974 feel free to call anytime. :)

    p.s. for what it is worth, In my experience regarding such things as Jihad the veil and other controversial issues– have much more to do with culture and education than sect. The Ahmadis, however, due to to a modern day prophet, are able to be definitive on their opinion on Jihad by simply pointing to what their leader says as law. However, my work with Muslims all over the world have shown me that all peace minded Muslims agree on the same points. For example in Las Vegas MLUV is hosting an event with the Nevada Islamic Society with LDS Public Affairs support. (see: http://www.lvmasjid.com/links/recent.asp) Read the second article written by Imam Abdullah titled “Kill Us Too”

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