Small Group Study of the Muslim Faith
Arizona has always been proud of our multi-cultural heritage. The blending of Native American, Latino, and Western heritage has become something uniquely Southwest. It draws people here, making Arizona home to people from colder climates. It is a vibrant, engaging state that has benefited from new neighbors.
Over the past few years, events across the globe have brought a different set of neighbors, people who have come not in search of our sun, but in search of safety. They are fleeing war and persecution. And they bring new cultures and a different faith.
As we have watched the world’s events, there have been many voices competing for our attention. The voices of people of the Islam faith have often been drowned out, making it difficult for us to learn about their practices. Without information, we rely on what we think we know, or may have heard, and that can lead to us seeing these new neighbors as “other,” people not like us.
Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota has developed a small group study of the Muslim faith. It was designed with the intention that it be a resource “to open doors, minds, and hearts and dispel stereotypes and myths about Muslim neighbors just enough to start more conversations.” They have made it available for anyone to use, and we are very pleased to share it.
Conversations are truly the key. Over the past few months I have been touched by the number of people who have reached out to us to find out how they could help. The pictures and stories of refugees are touching the hearts of many who feel compelled to act.
We are hopeful that this study will provide the tools needed to have this important dialogue about our role in welcoming the stranger and creating strong communities. We will all benefit.