White House Launches Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge
Since his inauguration, President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service – as an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good.
Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together – for example, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Jews, and Muslims and non-believers- building a Habitat for Humanity house together. Interfaith service can impact specific community challenges, from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, while building social capital and civility.
The 9/11 Decade
Small Leaps of Faith
When Betsy Wiggins opened her front door and saw the woman in a full black face veil coming up her flower-lined walkway, she wondered if she had done the right thing.
It was 11 days after 9/11, and Mrs. Wiggins, a speech pathologist and the wife of a Methodist minister in Syracuse, had called the local mosque and invited a Muslim woman she did not know over for coffee.
She and the Muslim woman, Danya Wellmon, a medical lab technician, sat in the Wigginses’ breakfast nook for hours and talked about their faith, their careers, their children — and their mutual despair over the terrorist attacks. They bonded that day, and decided that they should start a broader discussion. As a next step, Ms. Wellmon invited nine Muslim women, and Ms. Wiggins invited nine others (Christians, Jews, one Buddhist and an Ismaili Muslim) to join them for a potluck dinner by the big stone fireplace in the living room.
Eid Ul-Fitr 2011Marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadan
Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is a three-day Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid ul-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. Traditionally, the festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad with his friends and relatives after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar.