Interfaith Group Promotes Mutual Understanding

May 7, 2007

Author: Adam Townsend

Source: Orange County Register

YORBA LINDA — The Interfaith Council of North Orange County is a group of the religious of all stripes who hold events to promote understanding and satisfy general curiosity on spiritual matters.

The roughly 20 active members – Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and Christians, as well as followers of many other religions – meet to discuss what unifies their faiths and hold events for the public.

The group allows the faithful to share their beliefs respectfully, providing a forum that the members say is all too uncommon in this age of polarized politics and widespread ignorance of others' traditions.

"It's never been easy to wear a turban and a beard in the U.S., and after 9/11, it just got worse," said Arinder Chadha, a panelist for one of the group's discussion sessions.

Chadha is a practicing Sikh, a religion that developed in India that requires its members to wear traditional turbans and uncut beards. Though Sikhism is unrelated to Islam, it was an Arizona Sikh who was the first to be murdered in outrage after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.