I just came from a confirmation camp at Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center. Part of the focus for this group of confirmands was on interfaith dialogue and how we live our Christian life in harmony with people of other faiths.
We were blessed with the presence of Daisy Khan, the director of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, who shared her own faith journey with us and answered a myriad of questions from young people who had very little experience with the Muslim faith.
Khan pointed out that Allah is merely the Arabic word for God, and that “their” God is the same God of Abraham that we and our Jewish kindred worship. She shared that, just like Christians, Muslims believe they are God’s emissaries on this earth–called to share God’s light and love in this world. She told delightful, inspiring and funny stories, and even had her first ride on a zip line.
She has written a book about her faith own journey called, Born with Wings: The Spiritual Journey of a Modern American Woman, and has edited a book called Wise Up: Knowledge Ends Extremism that helps separate what faithful Muslims really believe from the propaganda of terrorists. It’s really a must-have for any group interested in developing a better understanding of Islam.
Her presence over the weekend created a positive impression that will continue to shape the views of these young people (and their adults) on the Muslim faith for years to come. Storytelling is powerful stuff, y’all. When we take the time to listen to other people’s stories (and to share our own), good stuff happens.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.