Christians, Jews, Muslims Reach Out to Each Other

December 20, 2009

Author: Bob Smietana

Source: The Tennessean

When Daoud Adudiab first heard that the Islamic Center of Columbia was on fire, he prayed the damage would be minimal.

But when he arrived at the center on Feb. 9, 2008, he realized the mosque could not be saved. Then he noticed the graffiti spray painted on the foundation of the building — three swastikas and the words "White Power. We rule the world.''

"I knew from that moment, our lives would never be the same,'' said Daoud, president of the Columbia mosque.

The attack still haunts Daoud. But he's also been inspired by the outreach of Christian neighbors who donated money to help the center rebuild as well as providing space for Muslim prayer services.

He recounts the arson and how churches in Columbia rallied around the Islamic Center in Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims, a new documentary from the Nashville-based Baptist Center for Ethics. It's part of a number of local interfaith efforts, aimed at forging closer ties between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Organizers hope to show that people of different faiths can cooperate despite their differences. They say Christians and Jews should reject negative and unfair stereotypes that have plagued Islam.