“The Muslim community has to speak for itself, of course, and as you know, there is a great deal of variety in the Muslim community, as there is in any religious community. So you have people giving different interpretations. For me, the importance of interfaith dialog is understanding not only your own religious tradition, but the traditions of other people. And the more you really, I’ve found, the more you really explore, and are open to learning about another religious community, not only does your understanding and appreciation for that tradition grows, but your own commitment to your own religious community grows.”

“The consequences of polarization and divisiveness are the same as they have been down through history, through human history. More suffering, more division amongst people, more ideologies that promote the conditions for war, for civil unrest, for inhumane acts perpetrated on people. More of the powerful using their resources to oppress the weak. I see nothing positive coming from a growth of this kind of separation and superiority, “us and them” kind of thinking that I think your question refers to.”

“One of the most fundamental and the most powerful contributions that interfaith dialog can generate in people across traditions is humility. It is coming to understand that whatever tradition you represent, it is not the absolute truth. Though it might be the truth for you, the adherent, it is not the absolute truth for all of humanity. But there is something within that truth that is universal for all people. And the only way you can come at that broader vision is having a humility about what it means to be a person of faith.”

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