Acts Of Faith : The Story Of An American Muslim, The Struggle For The Soul Of A Generation by Eboo Patel
View book: Acts Of Faith : The Story Of An American Muslim, The Struggle For The Soul Of A Generation
In the pages of this insightful book, a young Muslim activist uncovers a crucial truth regarding the role of youth programs offered by religious extremists. While these programs have been recognized for their potential to breed terrorists, the author believes wholeheartedly that those of us who advocate for religious pluralism can harness the same power and create positive change.
Navigating Interfaith Relationships, Building Bridges and Cooperation, Embracing Diversity in Our Nation
Samana Rahim was having lunch with Zach and Father Peter when Father Peter mentioned his favorite quote: “Become what you are not yet.” This quote resonated with Samana and she believes it speaks to what a university community should be. She believes that universities should help individuals grow and become their best selves.
Samana has visited many college campuses and was impressed by the dedicated meal that the Dining Services staff at Augusta cooked based on the themes of her book. She believes there is something special about fall on a college campus, a sense of effervescence and possibility.
She recalls her own experience as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois and how it opened her eyes to the world. She quotes Marcel Proust, saying that true discovery comes from developing new eyes, and believes that college campuses provide the perfect opportunity for this.
Samana then delves into the meaning of being a student at an Augustinian Catholic University in Philadelphia. She discusses the foundational teachings of St. Augustine, his sense of self-reflection and aspiration for something more. She also talks about the influence of Catholicism in her own life, particularly the example of Dorothy Day and her commitment to the poor.
She shares the story of her mentor, Brother Wayne Teasdale, who introduced her to interfaith conferences and encouraged her to dream of an interfaith youth movement. She admires his ability to bridge different religious traditions and finds inspiration in his interfaith work.
Samana goes on to discuss the history of religious diversity in Pennsylvania, particularly in Philadelphia. She mentions George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew congregation of Newport, where he ensures religious freedom and tolerance. She also talks about the Constitutional Convention and the importance of building a nation that respects diverse religious backgrounds.
She acknowledges the history of anti-Catholicism in America and draws parallels to the prejudice faced by Muslims and other religious minorities today. She quotes Abraham Lincoln and urges individuals to reject religious prejudice and embrace the values of respect, cooperation, and commitment to the common good.
Samana then answers questions from the audience, discussing the benefits of interfaith relationships, the challenges of pluralism, and how to navigate interfaith marriages. She encourages individuals to be accepting and appreciative of other traditions, while also staying true to their own beliefs.
She also addresses the issue of access to positive interfaith information in a digital age. She emphasizes the importance of new storytellers and encourages individuals to share positive interfaith stories online and in their communities.
Samana concludes by discussing the role of college campuses and the value of a diverse educational experience. She encourages students to stay open to new ideas and experiences, as these can shape their lives and help them become their best selves.