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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Columbus Lowndes Public Library kicked off a month-long series on Monday focused on creating more understanding between the Muslim and Christian faiths. The Muslim Journeys series began with a luncheon and dialogue between Muslim and Christian Faith leaders as well as the general public. Reverend Tom Bryson of First Presbyterian Church in Columbus was one of the guest speakers.

“I think it’s important to my faith for us to see each other as people and not to relegate somebody to the margins just because I don’t believe the same thing. We’re not called to do that as Christians and so it speaks to my faith that we participate in conversation and dialogue like this,” says Reverend Bryson.

Dr. Rani Sullivan of MSU explained the Muslim faith and dispelled misconceptions about the religion, as members of the audience asked for clarification on issues like jihad, and how Muslims regard Jesus Christ and salvation. Some participants say they learned something new while others had their beliefs confirmed.

“I thought it was very interesting to make the distinction between the very precision and absoluteness of the Quran and the practical Islam,” says George Swales, a discussion participant.

“Unfortunately, it comes down to what I’ve always thought. We all seem to worship the same God but we’re so afraid and so uneducated about either our own faith or the other faiths that we don’t seem to see through to the real meaning of the whole idea of worshipping God,” says Eleanor Lacklen, who also attended the discussion.

The Muslim Journeys series will also include two documentary showings, a film viewing and art exhibit. The events are free and open to the public. For more information on the Muslim Journeys series, call 662/329-5300 or go to http://muslimjourneyscolumbuslibrary.wordpress.com.

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