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.
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