Last weekend hundreds of friends and neighbors convened for the Crescent Peace Society’s Annual Awards Dinner and Eid Celebration. Building Muslim relationships as we greeted both old and new friends filled the Overland Park Marriott Ball Room with laughter and conversation.
In 1996 a small group of committed Muslims created the Crescent Peace Society as a vehicle to promote peace and understanding of the Muslim faith following the Oklahoma City bombing. My heart overflowed as I realized the gift of spending an evening with such a diverse crowd.
Imam Khalid Latif, the keynote speaker for the event, energized his listeners with stories of hope and the realities of our nation’s struggles with the Muslim community. Imam Latif, the university chaplain at New York University, executive director of NYU’s Islamic Center and a chaplain for the NYPD first, shared the news that Queen’s Imam Maulama Aknojee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64 had been killed as they left their Mosque that day. His personal experiences when flying across our nation or the world were disturbing. He urged us to build relationships with the Muslim community and other faiths by talking with each other, not at each other. Imam Latif shared several stories of not just talking about values but doing the right because it is the right thing to do. He repeated that we “do something because it is the right thing to do” several time as we strive to build Muslim relationships.
The evening filled me with a sobering joy as I listened to the Imam. Conversation with both old and new friends during the reception time and meeting new folks of different faiths seated at our table expanded my universe.
If you are interested in hearing Imam Latif share his thoughts on the benefits of interfaith dialogue go to:
August 13 at 2:36