People Of Different Faith Start Conversation On Religious Similarities At Potluck Supper In Stroudsburg

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STROUDSBURG -- Folks in the Poconos gathered for an interfaith supper tonight.

The dinner was organized by members of the Muslim community in Stroudsburg as a way to open a dialogue among different religions.

As it turned out, the crowd was double the amount organizers expected.

The folks gathering inside the Stroudsburg Islamic center were enjoying a potluck supper and some friendly conversation.

But the topic of the evening was anything but light.

“It's uncomfortable to talk about these things sometimes but I think when we lay down the ground rules of respect and compassion some amazing dialogue can take place,” said Sarah Khan.

The 26-year-old Khan organized this interfaith dinner as an opportunity to start a dialogue between people of all religions and also to educate others on the Muslim faith.

“In simple terms, I think our community just needed it, there`s so many people with amazing intentions and wanting to dialogue on faith, spirituality, how Muslims practice, just the American Muslim experience,” said Khan.

With differences among religious groups leading to hate crimes, even bloodshed, many here said they were grateful for the chance to talk with those from other faiths.

“I think it's important in the world we live in today, I think that there's a tendency as we know in politics, but also in religious for people to be divisionist,” said Anthony Stevens-Arroyo.

“Meeting other people who aren't the same as you is the key to understanding and would solve a lot of problems in this country,” said Lois Heckman.

“No matter who we are, where we're from, that as long as we have an opportunity to get to know on another, have an opportunity to better appreciate each other and terms of the similarities, we find out we have more in common than we have different,” said Wazir Muttaqi.

And if there are doubts people of different faiths can't live peacefully together, just look at the youngest participants of the dinner.

“I met some people from different cultures and I was the drink guy, I gave out drinks,” said Abdulla Hassan.

Khan says she was expecting 20 people to RSVP instead getting more than double that when 50 people showed up bearing food and an open mind.

All there say they're more than willing to do this again.