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Jan. 2002 The winter in
Delaware valley is quite warm. The first snow of this season came after the
middle of January. The temperature continues to come back up again in the
forties. After September 11 incidence, a dialogue has started between
people belonging to various religions. American Muslim Society (AMS) in
Delaware valley had a number of group meetings where Christians, Jews and
Muslims were invited to share ideas. These meetings were held in Islamic
Foundation located in Valley Forge area in Pennsylvania. A large number of
people showed up in these meetings. AMS also distributed books on Islam to
the people of other faiths. Dr. Iqbal Shaikh organized a meeting inviting
people of various religions in Delaware. Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais, and
Sikhs in addition to Jews and Christians attended this meeting. It appears
that average American is interested peace, tolerance, harmony and dialogue
of civilizations instead of clash of civilization as highlighted by Prof.
Huntington. In this meeting the atmosphere was very cordial. The format of
this meeting was very informal. A Sikh, Hindu or a Christian introduced
salient features of his or her religion and then answered questions from the
audience. I believe that such meetings have become necessity so that people
can come face to face with people of other faiths and freely ask questions
to dispel doubts and misgivings.
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