The Archdiocese of Chicago extended an invitation to the CIOGC E.D., Tabassum Haleem, CIOGC Interfaith Co-Chair, Dr. Shakir Moiduddin and Spoken Word Artist and Activist Laila Muhammad, to participate in the Lay Leadership Alumni Day of Reflection on Interreligious Dialogue and American Muslim on Saturday, April 30th. According to Dr. Daniel Olsen of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the attendees described the event as “the best formation day that they had been a part of in the (several year) history of the program.” He further added, “I know that this was due in large part from the presence of our guests. All went home with a greater appreciation for the need for interfaith dialogue and grew in esteem of the Muslim community.”
Ms. Haleem gave a presentation titled, “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith.” She also answered questions from the audience including the types of challenges faced by American Muslim youth given the current political climate. Dr. Moiduddin shared the inspiration behind his longtime and ongoing work in interfaith dialogue. He explained how complacency among ordinary people allows the extremists from all sides to take center stage and emphasized the critical role of interfaith dialogue in displacing and combating that extremism. Ms. Muhammad provided insights into the African American Muslim Community, its origins, history and ongoing mission of the diverse organizations around Chicago.