Since I was young, I've been instilled with the belief that you must accept everyone for who they are - including religious differences. There's a quote in the Quran that says, "You have your religion and I have mine" (109). This has always been essential in my practice of my faith. While for a long time this to me meant to avoid the topic of religion, I've more recently realized that accepting one another does not come from ignoring our differences. In fact, often times ignoring the topic leads to ignorant stereotyping that misrepresents an entire group of people. Discussions of faith are essential because of the lack of knowledge on the topic world-wide. Ignoring an issue really does lead to ignorance. Religion is one topic that we cannot afford to ignore anymore as it is constantly at the forefront of societal issues.
- I can get to know more Muslim students. I've never truly been involved in the Muslim community on the University campus nor outside of it. As Islam has become a more central part of my life, I want to get connected with those of my faith.
- I can get to know more people of faith in general. I've always felt comfortable with those of the Christian faith. We can discuss the differences as well as the similarities and learn from one another.
- Above all else, to me this is a symbol to the world at large. We've seen the media hype up extremist religious groups' actions. We've seen it try to divide people further. I, however, am a fatal optimist. This trip is a symbol of how we, as people of faith and as people in general, can work together. This is a symbol of hope and of peace in a world that seems to often times forget its essential humanity.