Letter: Interfaith message

We are a group of people of different faiths who come together once a month to dialogue. In our group are various Christian Protestants, Catholics, Christian Scientists, Mormons, Hindus, Unitarians, Jews and Muslims.  We have become good friends over the years. Our group was formed under the auspices of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis, which is celebrating 25 years of promoting understanding and friendship among people of different faith backgrounds.

Learning to respect one another while maintaining one’s own belief system has been integral to this dialogue endeavor. Because of the atmosphere of friendship and respect which has developed, we feel the urgency to speak out about the growing negativity towards Muslims. We are deeply concerned about the daily reports of anti-Muslim activity, both in St. Louis and throughout the country.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

Prejudice, which is born out of ignorance and fostered by the use of buzz words and misrepresentations, is often based on falsehoods, which are repeated so often that one begins to take them as the truth. The reality lies in knowing people on a personal level and understanding that the majority of us share common goals. Without question, there are individuals in this world who do not share those common goals and who are willing, for the sake of their own agenda, to cause harm to others.  These people can be found in any group, religious, political or cultural.  However, they are but a fringe element and are not representative of the group as a whole.

We must, therefore, recognize that, in the case of the Muslim community, the majority of Muslims are good, peaceful, law-abiding citizens; they contribute to our community at large in their daily lives.  We must not allow ourselves to be taken in by those who would  have us believe otherwise. 

Monday Night Dialogue Group, represented by:

Leanne Schneider (Jewish), John Parres (Christian),

Dr. Farida Farzana (Muslim)