In Chicago, a Dispute Over a Mosque Becomes a Bridge of Dialogue

March 11, 2004

Source: The Chicago Tribune

On March 11, 2004 The Chicago Tribune reported, "Years ago, Moraine Valley Community College counselor Sandra Broadbent was so unfamiliar with Islam that she advised a Muslim student to enroll in a gym class even though her religious beliefs about modesty prohibited her from wearing shorts in front of men. Today, Broadbent, 62, an Episcopalian, knows enough about Islam to give a presentation to Christians interested in learning such specifics as the role of Jesus in Islam and the differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. On Thursday she will speak to members of 75 area churches who have been invited to learn about Islam by the Christian-Muslim Dialogue Group, an organization created after a 2000 dispute over the proposed construction of a Palos Heights mosque... Initially formed to promote tolerance, the group has become the outreach program whose 10 core members, many of them Christian, often are ambassadors of information about Islam, the world's fastest-growing religion. In the last two years, the group's members have spoken to elementary and high school students throughout the Chicago area and to adults at Sunday school classes. They've organized seminars and community conferences aimed at increasing knowledge about a religion that many Americans don't understand."