Rumi Forum and American Turkish Friendship Association hosted a dinner to celebrate the Eid al Adha on September 28, 2015.
Imam Zia of Make Space gave a speech on the importance of the occasion.
The dinner began with some brief words about the American Turkish Friendship Association. ATFA was established in 2003 as a nonprofit, and is dedicated to peace, community service, and friendship through dialogue. ATFA advocates for cooperation between men and women and collaboration for community improvement between people of all backgrounds.
Imam Zia then shared some reflections and thoughts for the holiday, connecting its theme of sacrifice and service to others to the broader goals of ATFA, Rumi Forum, and other similar organizations. He described how, rather than sacrificing others, it is necessary to not put others in harm’s way in the name of religion. In an insightful connection, Imam Zia reminded the audience that in today’s world, humans in fact sacrifice each other in various contexts; we can see this phenomenon in the various wars that persist.
He then turned to speak more directly to about the community, asserting that American Muslims should, in this context of world issues, practice this theme of service to others by encouraging forgiveness, and compassion, and mercy.
After this enlightening discussion, Rumi Forum’s president Emre Celik was invited to the podium. He thanked the guests for attending, then expanded upon the themes of sacrifice and service discussed, noting that “Rumi Forum and organizatons like ATFA continue to motivate us to serve the wider community”. He emphasized the role interfaith dialogue has in this mission, then discussed Rumi Forum’s blanket drive project, and how the audience can participate, in further detail.