Bahai News -- Stamford Advocate - Session on Islam kicks off local religion series Local News

Session on Islam kicks off local religion series

By Peter Davenport
Assistant City Editor

STAMFORD -- Kareem Adeeb, a local imam, or prayer leader, knows that many residents have questions about Islam.

Tomorrow night, Adeeb and other members of the Stamford-based American Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies will discuss their faith and are inviting non-Muslims to do the same.

"We want people to ask questions. Say anything in your mind, anything; we will not be insulted," said Adeeb, the institute's founder, president and prayer leader. He said questions can range from "What do you see in Islam you don't understand?" to "What do you see in Islam that you don't agree with."

The presentation and discussion, which will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the North Stamford Congregational Church, 31 Cascade Road, is the first session in a five-part series titled "My Neighbor's Faith and Mine." The series is sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut.

People who attend tomorrow night's gathering "won't be just us coming to hear a lecture," said Deborah Goldberg, the council's director of interfaith programs.

"Their entire community will be there," she said, explaining that besides a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation covering highlights of Islam and a roundtable discussion on the religion, members of the institute will break during the session to pray.

"They will see us praying, see the community in action, see what we are about," Adeeb said.

After tomorrow's meeting on Islam, sessions exploring other faiths will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. monthly at various locations. The topics, dates and locations are:

* Judaism, Feb. 2, at Temple Sinai, Lakeside Drive, Stamford.

* Sikhism, March 16, at Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Foundation, 32 West Ave., Norwalk.

* Eastern Orthodox Christianity, April 6, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1230 Newfield Ave., Stamford.

* Bahai Faith, May 4, at First United Methodist, 42 Cross St., Stamford.

All are welcome and refreshments will be served. A $5 donation to the Interfaith Council will be collected at the door, Goldberg said; the cost for the series is $15.

"We all share common dreams, common fear, common love underneath that very thin skin that reflects our ethnic backgrounds," Adeeb said. "You'll find out that, hey, these people are not different from me."

-- For more information about the series or other Interfaith Council programs, call the council office at 324-7816.

©Copyright 2003, Stamford Advocate (CT, USA)

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