Imam Bahloul: Community is Everyone

In this video encounter, Imam Ossama Bahloul discusses his idea that community includes everyone regardless of religion or nationality.


Imam Ossama Bahloul, Ph.D. is currently the Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville. Dr. Bahloul’s passion in comparative religions has fueled over 16 years of experience in interfaith dialogue. Prior to his tenure at the Islamic Center of Nashville, Dr. Bahloul was the Imam at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro where he led the community through severe Islamophobic attacks while building the only mosque in Murfreesboro. He also delivered the TEDx Talk, The Gift of Difficulty.

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What If Community Really Included Everyone?

These reflection questions can be used individually or in a group setting in combination with Imam Bahloul's video on community including everyone.


Extra wide threadspools
  • How does Imam Bahloul's idea that community includes everyone relate to the call to love our neighbors?
  • Would considering every human a part of our community impact the way we interact with strangers?
  • What responsibility do we have towards individuals in our community? To our community as a whole?
  • How can we build relationship with those in our community with different beliefs than our own? How can we hold onto our own beliefs without requiring others to agree?
  • Consider those you come into contact with every day: bus drivers, waiters/waitresses, the person who lives on your floor or down the hall or at the end of your street, the person in front of you in the coffee line, etc. What would it look like to think of them as part of your community?
     

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Interfaith Dialogue Guidelines

Imam Bahloul challenges us to consider every human being a part of our community. This Action provides guidelines for interfaith dialogue, a necessary skill to make this concept a reality.


Interfaith dialogue is crucial to understanding how we can best live in interfaith community. These guidelines can serve as a starting point when entering into conversation with people of different faiths.

  • The goal is not to agree but to understand and to learn from each other.
  • Be respectful - honor the faith and traditions of others. Faith is central to self-identity and the way we understand our place in the world, and interfaith dialogue allows all involved to stay true to their faith.
  • Ask for clarification. Respectfully asking questions shows that we are interested and value the insight of the speaker.
  • Seek out conversation to break down stereotypes that lead to distrust and suspicion.
  • Events centered around interfaith dialogue are helpful, but to be truly successful we must commit to ongoing interfaith relationships.

Find more resources for interfaith dialogue here.

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