Boston and Muslims

April 24, 2013

The news over the past several days about the faith of the Boston bombers has triggered memories of the last time I was in Boston. That trip was to attend the first national Muslim-Baptist dialogue in 2009 (another round occurred last year, followed by regional dialogues). On Friday night, we attended a prayer service at a local mosque. That night, all day Saturday, and on Sunday after a Baptist church service, the group of about 40 Baptists and 40 Muslims talked and fellowshipped in hopes of finding areas of common ground (the photo is one I took of Roy Medley of the American Baptist Churches, USA and Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America). I wrote a series of news articles about the weekend for Ethics Daily (see here, here, here, here), which were republished by various Baptist and Muslims outlets. The articles later won awards from the Baptist Communicators Association and the Religion Communicators Council. It was a remarkable time during which I learned a lot. I still remember sitting in Starbucks at the Boston airport afterward calling people to talk about the weekend as my mind raced with ideas from the presentations and discussions. My hope is that we will not use two brothers to stereotype and attack all Muslims, just as we would not use them to disparage everyone who lives in Boston.