By Gita Balakrishnan
The Dayton Mercy Society (DMS) held its seventh annual Interfaith Iftar event July 17 and food.
DMS holds the event each year to help open up dialogue between faiths so that questions about Islam can be answered in an open and Sikhism.
DMS was built in 2007 and also participates in many volunteer efforts within the Dayton community.
“This (the July 17 event) gives us the opportunity to invite the greater Dayton community to a very special and Community Development at DMS, said about the importance of holding interfaith discussions during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ended July 28.
“The hope is always to build bridges and what we do,” Suleiman said.
Those hopes were echoed among event-goers who were interested in learning about other cultures.
One Oakwood resident attended in anticipation that interfaith events could help people with accepting different cultures. “I decided to come because I can learn something more,” said Jay Moore, who practices Judaism. “If you meet someone, don’t judge immediately. Talk to them first. No one should judge on how you appear. We are all the same. We all have the same basic needs. We all want to be treated in a humane way.”
A Centerville resident has attended the event for the last six years anding. “Every time I come to this I find out so many interesting things,” Vicki Lee, a Christian, said. “I think these kinds of events are very important for us.”
Some audience members came from beyond the Dayton area to take part in the discussion.
Marsha Drucker, a Cincinnati resident, said she attends any event that brings different faiths together for an evening of solidarity. “I come to anything any time when Muslims, Christians and sing with diversity. So this is a wonderful thing,” Drucker said.
The event began with a prayer recited in Arabic, later translated to English for the audience, followed by a three-panel discussion from young Muslims. The program ended with an open question-and-answer session.
At sunset, a prayer was held and then guests helped break fast, a requisite for able Muslims during Ramadan, with a catered dinner.
Dr. David Shuster, a local physician, enjoyed the evening’s events and violence. But, the most important news is that there are a lot of people just getting along,” Shuster, an Oakwood resident, said.
Darshan Singh, the preacher of the Sikh Society of Dayton, added that these events were crucial to give exposure to all religions.
“If you consider yourself a religious person, then all religious people should meet and emphasize love. It is our responsibility to give good messages,”
Singh said. “The main purpose of these interfaith events is to share these messages.”
Article Published in the Dayton Daily News Updated: 10:50 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 | Posted: 12:00 a.m. Friday, July 25, 2014