On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Rumi Forum and its’ key partners, George Washington University Interfaith Council, United Nations Association-National Capital Area, and Twelve Gates Foundation, celebrated the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a panel discussion about “Living Harmoniously in an Interfaith World: A Muslim Contribution”.
A world of interfaith harmony will not be achieved by religious organizations agreeing on theology. Each faith tradition has its own unique teachings and traditions, and each individual is unique in their own personal understanding of the truth. A durable peace among the diverse peoples of the world will be achieved when individuals become mature in their faith and learn to embrace those from other traditions as fellows of the human family.
The purpose of this program, then, was to raise awareness of the theological and spiritual resources that empower a life of faith in harmony with a world of diverse beliefs and practices and to encourage the development and dissemination of these resources within each faith tradition as a way to elevate the minds, hearts, and actions of people everywhere. In this program, we invited a Muslim scholar, Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan, to present the basis for his faith`s contribution to the creation of a peaceful world of interfaith harmony.
Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Shared Values. Prior to his current position, Dr. Aslandogan served as the board president of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Houston, Texas. In that role, he oversaw the organization of academic as well as grassroots activities of the Institute around topics such as shared values of humanity, social cognition and conflicts, the art of living together, foundations and methodology of interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and the role of faithful citizens in a democracy. He recently co-authored a book entitled “The Messenger: Prophet Muhammad and His Life of Compassion” and co-edited a book entitled “Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World”.
Dr. Aslandogan is an author and an editor of the Fountain magazine, and a board member of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and served as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington, and Prairie View A&M University.