Unity of Hands, Souls

April 4, 2007


Source: Times-Union


After the five Muslims prayed during a break from gutting a house, after they went through their rituals and recitations, one of the Protestants said: "Point of information."

That's the phrase a group of University at Albany students took with them to New Orleans to signal they wanted to ask a question about religion. The students went for a week in February to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, but they also went as an interfaith group -- five Muslims, five Jews, 10 Protestants and 11 Roman Catholics -- to learn about each other's faith. Discovering similarities became the theme of the week.

"We all believe in one God," says Shaun Bennett, a Jewish student from Westchester County. "The different religions have their prophets, and they all have their teachings and their writings. Sure, they have their differences, but everything is so closely related -- the Quran, the Bible, the Torah. It's all the same teaching, just different wording, different characters, different stories, different fables."