Dialogue Served Up At Interfaith Roundtable

November 9, 2006

Author: Tahira Muhammad

Source: Queens Chronicle


Members of different ethnic and religious communities gathered in Richmond Hill last Sunday to address an array of religious issues in the borough and city, including hate crimes.

Organized by members of the United Sikhs, the gathering was held on Sunday at Royal Indian Palace on Atlantic Avenue.

In keeping with the principles of the Sikh faith, ”peace and love for all humanity,” the meeting was envisioned as an opportunity to foster understanding between members of different faiths and backgrounds. The conference featured talks by guest speakers and audience members. Though only females spoke in the afternoon, roughly half the 75 member audience was male.

Speakers, including the Anti Defamation League’s Jennifer Rapoport, focused on steps that could be taken to further interfaith dialogue. She explained the measures taken by her organization to bridge the gap between Jews and Muslims.

“Our organization tries to unite with the other faith communities when a hate crime occurs, especially in reference to the recent hate crime against Shahid Amber,” she said, referring to a Brooklyn Muslim who was attacked by five Orthodox Jewish teenagers. “In this case, we tried to go beyond just the nature of the hate crime and tried to work together with identifying the problem and building an understanding of one another so these types of incidents do not happen again,” she added.