Interfaith Evening with Muslims

David Washburn, producer of “An American Mosque,was present  at the screening of his film at BPMH on Monday evening to answer questions about this 30-minute film, which has been shown locally on PBS.  It’s the story of how a Muslim congregation in Yuba City, CA, endured and responded to the burning down of their nearly completed mosque.  Though this event happened in 1994, it has lasting parallels and interesting differences to today’s arsons, bombings, and assaults on every sort of house of worship, making it highly topical. The dominating questions are: what’s the meaning of such tragedies in our open, supposedly religiously tolerant American society?  And what’s our defense and appropriate response?  It’s something our congregations and other local groups should see.


Reading from his prepared manuscript, Muslim resident, Saad Akbar, presents an explanation of the meaning and purpose of fasting during Ramadan before the screening of David Washburn’s film, An American Mosque.  Just at sunset, Saad invited the dozen or so of his non-Muslim BPMH neighbors to participate in the Iftar, the traditional breaking of the Ramadan fast at the end of the day by drinking water and eating a date. This was the second interfaith experience offered to the BPMH community, the first being a presentation by Dr. AmerSalihAraim, president of the Islamic Community Outreach of California.  Both of these programs are consistent with the new multifaith emphasis at BPMH, which has recently opened its doors and its heart to persons outside of the Christian faith tradition.  Executive Director, Sally Juarez says that residents at the Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes are learning how to live out the call to build Beloved community by living side by side with persons who may understand God differently than they do.  While Saad is the first non-Christian to enter the BPMH community, it is the hope that others will join him in the days ahead.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *