Islamic Center’s Vision of Interfaith Relations
ICCF is proud to be a leading institution promoting interfaith dialogue in Central CA. The staff and board members serve on the boards of various interfaith groups and work to reach out to the diverse community in Fresno and beyond.
Toward this goal, ICCF officials regularly meet with interfaith leaders, speak at ecumenical events, and endorse interfaith collaboration.
ICCF currently has a representative that is serving on the board of the following interfaith organizations:
- The Interfaith Alliance of Central California
- Faith in Community
- Interfaith Youth Alliance / IFYA
- The Human Rights Coalition of the Central Valley
- Fresno Metro Ministry
- Interfaith Scholar Weekend
- The Homeless Summit of the Bishop Steinbeck Committee
- Interfaith Social Justice Collaborative and more .
Our interfaith activities aim to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together as ICCF demystifies Islam and shares its peaceful teachings with the community. Our programs help enhance the understanding of Islam and help Muslims understand other faiths.
Understanding and respecting each other’s faiths is essential to living and working together peacefully. In addition, we strive to build bridges with diverse faith and ethnic communities, break down barriers, and eliminate stereotypes and hate. To this end, ICCF rejects all forms of extremism, bigotry, prejudice and violence.
ICCF organizes interfaith events on a regular basis and reaches out to members of the diverse faith communities. Programs such as the 9/11 commemoration, the National Day of Prayers, Interfaith Thanksgiving, CROP Hunger Walk and the July 4th interfaith celebration are samples of the programs we help organize.
On October 13th 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address of September 13th2006, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. In their Open Letter to the Pope, for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the true teachings of Islam.
Exactly one year after that letter, on October 13th 2007 Muslims expanded their message. In A Common Word Between Us and You, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet r to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Like the Open Letter, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere. Read More
By: The Late John T. Steinbock
Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Joaquin
Never have we heard so much venom and condemnation in political discourse. It is now condemning all Muslims as if they were all terrorists. This kind of talk leads people to division, hatred and polarization with their very neighbors, leading the gullible to acts of terror themselves against our Muslim brothers and sisters. And this venom is coming from so called respected talk show hosts, TV personalities and even political leaders. Read More
Professor emeritus Kapoor honored by Islamic Cultural Center
November 5, 2008
Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, professor emeritus of social work education, was recognized for his work to promote harmony
among all faiths by the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, which presented him a Spirit of Abraham Award. The founder of the Peace Garden and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Fresno State, Kapoor is a renowned community activist. Read More
When Mark and Joseph Pace, 16, took up their bishop on a suggestion for an Eagle Scout project, the twin brothers of Fresno, Calif., say they had no idea the project would be so large, involve hundreds of Boy Scouts from another state, or give them a chance to meet others of the Islamic faith. Read More
By Dr. Muqtedar Khan
“Where books are burned in the end people will burn.” – Heinrich Heine
On May 10th, 1933 the Nazis burned 25,000 books — including those written by Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, who had predicted in 1820 that “where books are burned in the end people will burn,” – and eight years later the Holocaust began.
The connection is not too difficult to discern. Books are repositories of histories, of identities, of values. They are the soul of civilization. A society must abandon basic decencies in order to muster the immoral courage to burn books as a celebratory act. Once it starts burning the souls of civilization, human souls will not be left behind.
On September 11, 2010, some misguided Americans plan to burn the Holy Quran, the only book in the entire heritage of humanity that claims to be solely the word of God. This dastardly act is the brainchild of Terry Jones, a Christian Pastor from Florida. This act is not just some symbolic gesture of defiance. It is an act of egregious violence against the beliefs and the sacred symbols of one fourth of humanity. The act will scorch Muslim hearts everywhere. The searing pain will never be forgotten. Read More
By Ibrahim Hooper
“Behold! The angels said: ‘O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'” Before searching for this quote in the New Testament, you might first ask your Muslim co-worker, friend or neighbor for a copy of the Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text. The quote is from verse 45 of chapter 3 of the Qur’an. Read More
Q&A with Rabbi Reuven Firestone
By Brad A. Greenberg
The Jewish Journal
Reuven Firestone: I don’t think they understand that Islam is a complex religion, comparable to Judaism, and that it can’t be reduced to simplistic slogans and notions.
JJ: How do you think the real Islam differs from the generally perceived?
RF: All the fears about Islam, the worst-case scenarios, exist. But they exist in very small numbers, and they are magnified because of our fear and anxiety. And we live in a world where, at least in the last few years, we have been trained and programmed to think the worst.
JJ: You prefaced your talk by saying that you are a committed Jew and that you don’t have an ax to grind, but that you also have ‘a tremendous respect for Islam.’ Read More
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Hailey Woldt put on the traditional black abaya, expecting the worst.
Hailey Woldt, in a traditional Muslim head scarf, studied how people react to her garb in Arab, Alabama.
The last time she’d worn the Muslim dress that, with a head scarf, covered everything but her face, hands and feet, she was in Miami International Airport, where the stares were many and the security check thorough.
This time, she was in a small town called Arab. Arab, Alabama, no less.
“I expected people to say, ‘What is this terrorist doing here? We don’t want your kind here,’ ” said Woldt, a 22-year-old blue-eyed Catholic, recalling her anticipation before stepping into a local barbecue joint. “I thought I wouldn’t even be served.”
Instead, Woldt’s experiment in social anthropology opened her own eyes. Apart from the initial glances reserved for any outsider who might venture through a small-town restaurant’s doors, her experience was a pleasant one. Read More