by Salman Qureshi
I’ve always been drawn to conversation. Whether I’m at the dinner table or I’m at a ball game, I’ve always found dialogue as a tool to connect with people. Dialogue allows people with different backgrounds to learn about each other’s differences and find the similarities between them. This inspired me to find a way to bind students together through dialogue. As the CFV Interfaith Intern, I wanted to develop an avenue where people of different faith backgrounds could come together to share their beliefs in a welcoming manner. Most of all, I wanted to share and celebrate the religious diversity that exists at Butler with the entire community.
Would students be genuinely interested in being involved? Would they find it uncomfortable or uninviting? Maybe they would not even bother in participating with preconceived notions about interfaith? As I started on this journey, I had questions these and other questions that eventually helped shape what the Interfaith Council would become. I connected with fellow CFV staff to develop a program that was built on conversation and togetherness, rather than hierarchy and misconceptions.
Thankfully, all of my questions were answered quickly by Council members. From the first meeting, I’ve seen the positivity that has come from the group. We have found a large amount of similarities between our respective faith traditions and gained a deeper understanding of our differences. Our conversations are built on a foundation of tolerance and engagement, allowing everyone to connect beliefs to one another to build a strong sense of community. Discussions often carry over long after the meeting is over and push us to dive in deeper in our own faiths. Most importantly, I have seen strong friendships between Council members that will last long after this semester. With that, I know that interfaith dialogue will continue to grow here at Butler and long after.