A leading philosopher in Islam spoke about the “Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism” at the annual Interfaith Scholar Weekend in the Old Administration Building of Fresno City College on Feb. 26.
Abdulaziz Sachedina, a professor in the International Institute of Islamic Thought and chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, spoke at the event, started in 1989 by the late Rabbi Robert Seigel with the purpose of finding an interfaith perspective from a specific religion the committee chooses each year.
Fresno City College hosted the last discussion of the weekend. The weekend was full of discussions and activities.
The event was based on Islamic religion and Interfaith, which is a way of relating to and understanding multiple religions, not just one’s own.
“God wants us to live together,” Sachedina said. “We should learn how to do that.”
The Interfaith weekend recognizes that communities all over the country are not dedicated to one single religion anymore, like in the past, and are instead now living in a multi-faith society.
“Now everybody is all mixed up,” Sachedina said. “And the more we know about each other, the better ways of appreciating and relating to them becomes possible.”
At the end of the discussion, Sachedina said the “purpose [of humanity] is determined by God and God doesn’t want us to fight.”
He also said that it is critical to not just listen, but to respect each other and also work together to understand the many religions we are surrounded by.
Sachedina concluded his speech by asking participants to understand forgiveness and how it’s the more important aspect in our daily lives, even more than religion itself.
“It leads to improving of relationships. Forgiveness is necessary to improve the fractured relationships,” said Sachedina. “It’s true to all interfaith communities.”