Different Perspectives: The “Other”

“What does your personal faith teach you about tolerating and respecting people of other faith traditions and about interfaith efforts?”

Emily LaHood

Year: Junior

Faith Tradition: Catholic

Major: Catholic Studies/English

Minor: Spanish

The word Catholic is derived from the Latin word catholicus, which means “universal”. At its core, that’s exactly what the Catholic Church is- open and welcoming to people of all backgrounds, traditions, and lifestyles.

In Mark 12:31, when asked the way to heaven, Jesus responded, “You shall love your neighbor as   yourself.” As a result of Christ’s teachings, Catholics believe that every person deserves the dignity of human life. Not only are we taught to tolerate and respect  people of other faith traditions, we are encouraged to love and embrace them. Continue reading

A Muslim Affluenza?

This post was written by Trent Carl, a senior at DePaul finishing his major in Islamic World Studies. Trent is an active member of both UMMA (United Muslims Moving ahead) and SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine).

The  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines consumerism as:  “the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; also: a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods”[1]. I would like to add another definition to the mix: “affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more”[2].

Affluenza is a play on the two words affluence and influenza. It symbolizes the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses”—matching (or exceeding) the same level of material wealth (affluence) and status as your neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc.—but frames it as an illness, a virus. It is the title of both a television documentary and a book that challenge our materialistically-inclined society. In fact, it can be said that we spend (sometimes until we are in massive debt) to feel a quick, fleeting happiness in purchasing a new item. Continue reading

Questioning Religious Freedom at Ground Zero

This article was written by Leena Saleh, the editor of UMMA INK, DePaul University’s Muslim Student Association newspaper.

Approaching the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, a Mosque is proposed to be built where the Twin Towers in New York City once stood. A heated debate over the appropriateness of the Mosque’s location has elicited a toxic mixture of fear and hate.

“I think the controversy is absurd. Just because extremists of one religion commit terrorist acts doesn’t mean they represent all of the people of that faith,” said Sarah Ewing a senior majoring in journalism. Relating to her own faith, Ewing said, “I don’t want to be held accountable for actions of extremist Jews. They don’t represent me.” Continue reading

The Spiritual Path of Ramadan: A non-Muslim’s Journey to Compassion and Awareness

Today’s post is by Nic Cable, a senior at Depaul, pursuing a double major in Religious Studies and Peac, Justice, and Conflict Studies. He is serving his second year as an Interfaith Scholar at DePaul University and is the Director of the Better Together Campaign at this institution.

In my faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism, a large emphasis is placed on walking upon our spiritual life paths with others who are “different” from ourselves. It is reasoned that through connecting with people from different life journeys, we will receive deep spiritual nourishment and enlightenment through that encounter. Growing up I have learned about the major world religions, about their rituals and holidays, and even participated in some of these traditions. Now, as I enter my senior year, I am walking on a new path, one that is inevitably shifting the way I view my relationship to myself, others around me and around the world, and the divine. This is the path of Ramadan. Continue reading

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the mental and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation, or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. This definition, however, is subject to much philosophical critique. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives, in terms of the person forgiven and/or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven.

Continue reading

Compassion, Trust and Forgiveness: A Lesson from the Past

We live in a time where the proverbial buck stops everywhere but at our front door. Finger pointing, grandstanding, and self-righteous accusations can be detected from the top of the political arena, to inside the corporate world, to the religious community and finally inside the family circle. Personal responsibility has been cast aside and traded in for a collective condemnation of an ambiguous culprit. Continue reading

Eid-al-Adha with the Arains

Hafsa Arain Celebrating Eid-Al-Adha

So, I’ve spent the last three Eid-al-Adha’s in three separate countries, but before you think I’m Carmen San Diego, you should know that one of those countries was the United States.  A year ago it was an interfaith exchange trip to Amman, Jordan and the most recent was the country of my birth: Pakistan. So really, I’m not a Globe Trekker; it wasn’t very normal for me.  A normal Eid for me is sitting on the floor, eating from the coffee table in some suburban Chicago home.  For this Eid, Eid-al-Adha, we usually plow down on goat we have to buy pre-sacrificed, commemorating the Prophet Abraham.  Believe me, the Eid I consider normal is completely different from Eid in Pakistan. Continue reading

Islam 101

Symbol of Islam

Five Pillars of Islam

Shahadah (The Declaration): The basic creed of Islam- “There is no one worthy of worship but the One and Only God and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Salat (Prayer): Special form of worship or prayer, practice five times a day.

Fasting:  abstaining from food, drink and other forms of gratification, during the day time for the lunar month of Ramadan in the Hegira Calendar.

Zakat (Charity): A specified portion of one’s wealth and income given as mandatory charity to the poor.

Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in a person’s life, if he/she is capable both physically and financially. Continue reading