Attachment 3 Compassion Conference pics 2 by ajizai


									                                         The Texas Pax Christi State Conference, an interfaith forum organized
                                         by the local Pax Christi chapter, was held in UIW’s Marian Hall
                                         Ballroom March 23 to 25, 2012.

                                         Pulling in over 300 people over the weekend, “Where in the World Is
                                         Compassion? Creating Ongoing Relationships for the Common
                                         Good,” featured speakers from all walks of life and as many diverse
                                         faiths. Sponsors included the Council on American-Islamic Relations
                                         (CAIR), the Charter for Compassion, the SoL Center, and the San
                                         Antonio Muslim Women’s Association (SAMWA).

Featured guest, Dr. John Esposito, University Professor and Founding
Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian
Understanding at Georgetown University and the author of Who Speaks for
Islam, What A Billion Muslims Really Think and over forty other books,
spoke during Friday night’s dinner reception.

“The challenge when you speak about compassion is how do you speak
about compassion in a relevant way?“ Esposito asked. “As Hans Kung has
said there will be ‘No peace among the nations without peace among the religions.’ No peace among the
religions without dialog between the religions, no dialog between the religions without investigation into the
foundation of the religions.”

                                      Highlighting the Charter for Compassion, a worldwide “cooperative effort
                                      to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly,
                                      compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life.
                                      Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes
                                      of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems,”
                                      guests could sign the online pledge in full support.

Visitors came from across Texas and diverse countries such as Kenya,
Palestine, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Switzerland, Turkey, Morocco,
Somalia, Mexico, Canada, Iceland, and Ireland. They participated in
discussions over a feast of Middle Eastern cuisine featuring chicken
biryani and vegetable curry—courtesy of the local Muslim
community—with a diversity of Christians, Muslims, Jews,
Buddhists, and Hindus.

                                          Narjis Pierre, leader of the San Antonio Muslim Women’s
                                          Association moderated the closing panel with Dr. Ali Asani of
                                          Harvard, originally from Kenya and an Ismaili Muslim; Aesha
                                          Aboueisha: Egyptian, Student, UTSA; Dr. Fatma Arslan: Turkish,
                                          Organizer, Institute of Interfaith Dialog; Sarwat Husain: Pakistani,
                                          Vice Chair of the National Board of the Council on American-
                                          Islamic Relations; Fatemeh-Azadeh Rezapoor: Iranian, Student,
                                          UTSA; Imam Omar Adib Shakir: American, Imam for the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, Resident Imam Masjid Bilal Ibn Ra’bh.
Dr. Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic
Religion, Harvard University, said, “I do not believe there is
a ‘clash of civilizations,’ but a ‘clash of ignorance.’” As
persons learn more about each other, they come to realize our
common humanity. Dr. Asani formed part of the Council of
Conscience, which wrote the Charter for Compassion.

                                             Saturday morning, Dr. John Esposito spoke on “Creating
                                             Relationships for the Common Good” and was followed by
                                             responders from various faiths: Hinduism: Dr. Lopita Nath
                                             from India, UIW Assistant Professor of History; Buddhism:
                                             Shastri Linda Mockeridge, MSW, San Antonio Shambhala
                                             Mediation Center; Judaism: Dr. Judith R. Norman, Professor
                                             of Philopophy, Trinity University, Editor, Jewish Voice for
                                             Peace; Christianity: Dr. R. Scott Woodward, Catholic,
                                             Acadmic Dean and Assistant Professor Pastoral Theology,
Oblate School of Theology; Islam: Imam ‘Abdur-Rahim Muhammad, Associate Imam, Masjid Bilal Mosque.

Shastri Linda Mockeridge said, “We have to know where we are. That has to come out of mindfulness. And we
have to know where we are going. And what we’re doing. And that comes out of awareness. If we can do this,
we are working with self, we are working with others, and we are
working with all beings in all societies.”

Featuring foods described in Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures,
Saturday’s lunch drew guests to see the UIW Holy Land Garden, a
place of “common ground,” were plants from these scriptures are
tended to by UIW’s Biology department.

 Dr. Judith R. Norman echoed Shastri Linda Mockeridge, “If I am
only for myself then what am I?”

                                          Sarwat Sarwat Husain, Vice Chair of the National Board of the
                                          Council on American-Islamic Relations and also a graduate of the
                                          University of the Incarnate Word, was awarded the Texas Pax Christi
                                          Peacemaker of the Year Award. Her work helping to overcome
                                          prejudice and build unity were recognized.
Sunday evening, the conference closed with “World Religions: Sacred Music” sponsored by the UIW Interfaith
Council and coordinated by UIW graduate student, Marty Battafarano.

(We are grateful to Chuck Gibbons for the photos above.)

                                                  “Iraqi Women of Three Generations: Challenges, Education,
                                                 and Hopes for Peace,” an exhibit of photos and stories from the
                                                 research of UIW Professor, Sister Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI, on
                                                 peace building and reconciliation in Iraq was featured at the
                                                 Compassion Conference.

                                                 Sister Martha Ann interviewed over 140 people in Iraq during
                                                 the summers of 2010 and 2011 and documented how quality
                                                 education shared by Muslims inspired by Fethullah Gülen
                                                 contributes to stopping cycles of violence. Read about some of
the research

The exhibit is available for churches, schools, and groups to
borrow. For more information, see

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