MCC Interfaith Iftar Dinner promotes inclusiveness, unity and solidarity

In order to foster compassion and peace among the varied populations of Chicago, the Muslim Community Center Chicago Interfaith team arranged a dialogue during a recent Ramadan interfaith meal at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove on Saturday, March 17.

In 1969, the Muslim Community Center (MCC), Chicago, was founded as a community-based organization dedicated to promoting peace. Through its programming and events, MCC has been serving the community for more than 50 years with the goal of fostering interfaith understanding and peacemaking. The MCC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

“The purpose of this kind of event is to come together as a community, pray and support to promote compassion toward all believers,” stated Masood Bijapuri, president of the Muslim Community Center.

“I love this kind of gathering to bring people with different worldviews together for conversation and food,” said Dr. Sam, the event volunteer who also founded the Green Team. We also wanted to provide a forum where others could explore their faith and culture, so I share my experiences with many different traditions today. She also discussed her Green Team Project.

Every year, there was an annual Ramadan dinner with speeches and more than 200 attendees, including officials from the state and local government as well as individuals from other backgrounds and beliefs. The Social Hall was decorated for the occasion.

Asif Masood served as the program’s moderator. He invites everyone to have breakfast with Muslims at the Muslim Community Center. He also emphasized that Holy Ramadan is the most significant month in the Muslim calendar.

Speaking on the topic of fasting’s place in culture and religion were speakers from a variety of religious backgrounds in the main program.

Lesley Williams from the Jewish Voice of Peace; Nour Abdel Monem, the chief of staff at New Schools; Jawaid Hussain, the chairman of the board of directors at Baitul Ilm Mosque in Streamwood; Fatima Musa, an MCC Academy student and Palestinian spoken word poet; and Sheikh Saad Quadri, the Religious director of MEC were among the speakers.

Speakers addressed how similar religions fast at various times for various reasons depending on culture and religious law. They also discussed Christianity and Islam and Ramadan, as well as Judaism and Yom Kippur, in relation to the Abrahamic religions and their festivals.

During Table Discussions, attendees were urged to share their own narratives and gain insight from one another’s triumphs and setbacks.

A call to prayer with its meaning explained in the subtitles was announced prior to the fast being broken, and then there was a prayer.

Rev. Dr. Anna Piela and Rev. Dr. Michael Woolf led prayer prior to the dinner.

Owing to the extraordinarily positive response, the Muslims Community Center plans to keep up similar interfaith initiatives and spread the word about upcoming gatherings of people of many faiths in the Chicago area.

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