Cultural Groups Unite in Celebration of Iftar

October 18, 2006

Author: Derek Quizon

Source: Loyola Phoenix

The Crown Center lobby was packed on Monday, Oct. 16 with representatives from a wide array of campus organizations who came together to celebrate tolerance, unity and diversity at the interfaith iftar dinner.

Iftar in Islam is the breaking of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, then break the fast with a large meal at sundown. It is often a festive event, bringing whole communities together to break bread. The Turkish Intercultural Club, headed by senior Roselyn Maldonado, took it a step further and organized an interfaith iftar dinner, inviting people of all religions to gather as one community to share a meal and discuss religious tolerance.

The concept of an interfaith iftar dinner is nothing new; this is the fourth of its kind here at Loyola. Interfaith iftars have become increasingly popular on college campuses, as student populations have become more and more diverse. In the years following 9/11, it has become especially important for the American Muslim community to reach out and reinforce its peaceful relationships with other religious communities in the United States.

Many campus organizations were represented, including the Muslim Students Association (MSA) the Jewish student organization Hillel, the Hindu Students Organization (HSO) and the Council of Pan-Asian Americans (COPAA).