InterFaith Cultural Organization
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"Love is the most essential element in every being, a most radiant light and a great power that can resist and overcome every force. With love towards one another we will walk towards tomorrow..."

People of all faiths are called to be charitable to one another
by Rauf Bawany
6 June 2005, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Opinion

How can the Rev. Creighton Lovelace represent a religion that teaches to turn the other cheek in humility when you are slapped?

We at the Interfaith Center of the Rochester Institute of Technology carry out our work with reverence, compassion, and kind reciprocating gestures with students of various faiths, trying to maintain a peaceful and tranquil academic atmosphere of cooperation.

We respect each other's beliefs.

On the national level also, interfaith dialogue of cooperation and understanding has been going on for quite some time.

Remarks and signs of hatred and tumultuousness by myopic people such as the Rev. Lovelace will definitely throw cold water on all such efforts.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign Muslim students are enrolled in American universities. The experiences they take home shape their perception of what America is and how it relates to Islam. This factor will influence much of the Islamic world's responses to American policy for decades to come.

If the Rev. Lovelace has concerns that Muslims do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, then he should know that a Muslim cannot be a Muslim unless he declares his belief in the following Seven Articles of Faith:

1. The Creator and Sustainer, Allah (God).

2. All the angels

3. All the books sent by God to various prophets, including the Psalms to David; the Torah (the Old Testament) to Moses; the Bible (the New Testament) to Jesus; and the last book of the series, the Quran to Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

4. All the previous prophets, i.e. messengers, and the last one, Muhammad.

5. The Day of Final Judgment.

6. Fate.

7. The resurrection after death.

The above articles of faith prove that Muslims are more broad-minded in their beliefs. I would ask that we refrain from hurting each other's faiths. We should try to seek what is true.

Once we find the truth, all smoke of uncertainty will settle.

Bawany is Muslim chaplain, Center for Religious Life, Rochester Institute of Technology.

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