Ramadan event at Islamic Center of Pittsburgh promotes acceptance
The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh celebrated the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Sunday during its annual Humanity Day, at which local educators were honored for promoting acceptance and understanding of different faiths.
“Ramadan is about showing mercy and compassion,” the center's Sheikh Atef Mahgoub said after beginning the event with a prayer for peace. “It's about setting our priorities straight.”
The center in Oakland honored many non-Muslims, a fitting gesture for an event that promotes tolerance, said keynote speaker Alia Bilal, who works for Chicago's Inner-City Muslim Action Network.
“To me, it's a day when everyone from around the community, people of different faiths, different walks of life get a chance to come together and celebrate their successes,” she said. “The United States is a country where we've been able to do things, to bring diverse conglomerations of humanity together. It doesn't always mean people exist as peacefully and harmoniously as we'd like, but it brings a huge opportunity.”
Among those honored was Marinus Iwuchukwu, the chair of Duquesne University's Christian-Muslim Dialogue. He said he instructs all of his students to visit places of worship they have never before experienced.
“I have made it my duty to engage my students with other religions,” Iwuchukwu said. “They tell me that they wouldn't do it if they weren't asked to do it, but having done it, it was some of the greatest experiences of their lives.”
The Rev. Thomas Hart, a theology instructor at St. Vincent College in Unity, said Muslims and Catholics must engage in meaningful dialogue, adding that “any dialogue worthy of the name requires trust ... and trust cannot be simply expected or demanded, it has to be earned.”
“We're all living in the same community, and there are social problems facing all of us,” he said. “Certainly, we can ... cooperate and show the world what that cooperation might look like in addressing social issues.”
Julianne Slogick, a teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School, was honored for bringing her students to the Oakland mosque regularly, the only teacher in the county who returns every year, officials said. Fran Leap, an associate professor of religious studies at Seton Hill University, was honored.
About 200 people attended the event, which ended with a meal to break the daily Ramadan fast.
“We in the Peduto administration believe in including and acknowledging faith in what we do — it is separate, but it isn't,” said Valerie McDonald Roberts, chief urban affairs officer for Pittsburgh. “This is beautiful. Please continue to dialogue, to communicate. We are all in the same boat.”
Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PennEnvironment planning Clean Air Act lawsuit
- Broken water main causes sinkhole that swallows truck in Overbrook
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s banding program a labor of love for avian expert
- 2 quit race for Plum school board
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- New interim director to take over VA regional office in Pittsburgh
- Leetsdale council accepts resignation of police chief
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
- Philadelphia firm to defend Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority in lawsuit
- Pittsburgh police seek dark blue BMW that hit cyclist in East Liberty