Blog Archives

The importance of listening

By Fedwa WazwazEngage Minnesota

The first duty of love is to listen.
–Paul Tillich

fedwa wazwazMuhammad, upon him peace and blessings, is the seal of the prophets and the universal messenger.

He was born in Mecca, in what’s now the modern-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 670 AD.  Muslims believe that he was the last in a series of prophets chosen by God, and the teachings revealed to the Prophet Muhammad form the basis of Islam.  

Muhammad isn’t just one among the prophets: He connects the stories of all the other prophets together. As part of his journey, we’re told that Muhammad traveled to Jerusalem, where all the prophets were briefly resurrected and joined him in prayer.

All the prophets’ stories help guide us in our lives, but Muhammad’s story is the thread that brings all the others together. He brings together the stories of Moses, David, Jesus, and all the others who shone out to help us steer our own lives.

Read the rest of this entry

Owning Our Racial Bias: A Multicultural Interfaith Dialogue Seeking Reconciliation and Healing

By  Engage Minnesota

Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in partnership with St.Paul Interfaith Network, and the Islamic Center of Minnesota invited those eager to understand racial bias in new ways to both a panel of west metro youth for their experiences with racial bias AND a panel of experienced voices, followed by dialogue among all participants. This event examined realities about racial bias, with the goal of challenging participants to move toward racial reconciliation and healing.

The evening included a meal and small group discussion of the topic.

The event was held on Sunday, September 27, 2015 from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane N, Plymouth, MN 55442.

Special thanks for all those who participated in planning for this event.

The Event Convenor – Kim Olstad and taped by John Risken.

There were two panels: youth and adult.

Participants of the Youth Panel:
o Ifeyinwa Ikegwuani, senior, Osseo High School
o Maryam Wazwaz, sophomore, Spring Lake Park High School
o Tyler Story, senior, Wayzata High School
o Alex Sigmundik, creator of RezCycle, graduate of Blake School

o Moderator, Brooke Story, Senior Director, Integration, Medtronic


Adult Panel
o Mike Hotz, associate pastor of care and outreach, Sanctuary Covenant Church in North Minneapolis
o Austin Ihiekwe, recently retired engineer with 3M who came to the US from Nigeria in 1964
o Dorthey Ikeguani, hospice nurse and nursing instructor at North Hennepin Community College, born and raised in Arkansas.
o Christine McCleave, enrolled member from Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe in North Dakota and currently working in the non-profit sector at Indian Land Tenure Foundation
o Fedwa Wazwaz, speaker and writer on interfaith relations, Islam, and Palestine.

o Moderator, Chuma Ikeguani, Vision Realty


Your feedback on this conversation is important and welcome. This conversation is just a beginning of many conversations.


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Acts of Faith: Breaking the barriers that divide us

zainabahmad_may2008_cropBy Zainab Ahmad

The evening of Wednesday, the 5th of November, was a great time to be in the United Methodist Church at Grove Street in downtown Minneapolis. Dr. Eboo Patel spoke to at an event arranged by many organizations such as the St. Paul Area Council of Churches, Blake School Diversity Symposium, CAIR Minnesota and Muslim Youth Minnesota, along with many others. He spoke to a diverse audience about his work with the Interfaith Youth Core. Read the rest of this entry

Taking Heart: Visit a Mosque, Share a Meal

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota

From a Taking Heart picnic,
summer 2007.

Gail Anderson isn’t asking you to make a new best friend.

“I think if next Wednesday night, we get a number of Christians to walk into a mosque—
that’ve never been in a mosque before—then I think we’ve done something,” said Anderson, unity and relationships organizer with the Minnesota Council of Churches.

Anderson helps head up the interfaith project “Taking Heart,” which brings Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors together over good meals and good conversation.

The next event, set for May 14 at Masjid Ummat Muhammad, was designed for South Minneapolis residents. The program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with two presentations: There will be a brief talk about Muslim prayer, and Anderson will discuss the Christian prayer tradition. Afterwards, free Middle Eastern food will be served, and people will be encouraged to mingle and talk.

But what if people self-segregate, and Christians sit together with Christians, and Muslims with Muslims?

“We don’t let ’em,” Anderson said, and laughed. Read the rest of this entry