Positive American-Islamic Relations
On Sat., 9/5/15, I headed from Boston to the annual ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Convention in Chicago. You might ask, why would a “nice Jewish boy”, and interfaith minister, be attending the ISNA Convention? It’s because I’ve been wanting to do work on healing the Muslim – non-Muslim divide in the U.S. ever since 1999, when I did an impromptu reconciliation service on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict in seminary.
I was heading to the Convention to promote my new blog site, “Positive American-Islamic Relations” (P.A.I.R.). I felt I was given a Divine gift of reassurance when it turned out that the woman sitting next to me on the plane was a young Muslim woman who was born in Pakistan, now living outside Boston. She shared with me about her life as a Muslim in the U.S., and was very supportive of this P.A.I.R. project.
At the ISNA convention I was so heartened by the responses that I received from the hundreds of people I spoke with who were staffing the roughly 500 booths at the Convention’s bazaar. So many said this was a great idea. The energy throughout the Convention was joyful and uplifting. It has reinforced my belief that as we interact with people of different faiths and backgrounds with an open mind, we can have most positive experiences. As the public hears about these experiences, my hope is that it will bring about an openness of minds and hearts when having connections with Muslims.
So I invite you to share about your interactions with Muslims at the blog https://posair.wordpress.com.
Rev. Joel Grossman was ordained an Interfaith Minister by the Chaplaincy Institute for the Arts and Interfaith Ministry, “ChI”, in 2000. He has been a spiritually based psychotherapist since the 1970’s, and has been serving as a hospice chaplain for over ten years. He was a founding faculty member of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, “ChIME”, and created and directed it’s MA campus. He lives in West Newbury, MA. He invites you to view, and submit to, his blog “Positive American-Islamic Relations” (P.A.I.R.) at https://posair.wordpress.com.