The third paragraph was updated on Jan. 29, 2010, to confirm the participation of Farhana Swati on the Houston panel.
An interfaith documentary airing on ABC-TV stations across the country will be screened at the Turquoise Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 21, from 2-4 p.m., followed by a panel discussion led by Muslims and Baptists.
Sponsored by the Institute of Interfaith Dialog and Mainstream Baptists of Oklahoma, the event will include a viewing of the hour-long documentary, “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,” produced by EthicsDaily.com.
Confirmed panelists include Bruce Prescott, executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists; Orhan Osman, executive director of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Oklahoma City; and Farhana Swati, managing director and co-owner of Pak Oil. All three are documentary interviewees.
Another panelist is Alp Aslandogan, president of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog (IID).
Robert Parham, co-producer of the documentary and executive editor of EthicsDaily.com, will moderate the panel discussion.
Headquartered in Houston, the Institute of Interfaith Dialog was established as an educational organization in 2002 to address prejudices and to encourage peaceful co-existence through conferences, interfaith dinners and cultural exchange trips. IID draws much of its direction from the Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen and has a number of branch offices in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri.
“Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists is proud to partner with the Institute for Interfaith Dialog to show the documentary,” said Prescott.
“Houston has one of the largest populations of both Baptists and Muslims of any city in the United States,” he added. “The documentary chronicles how Mainstream Baptists and Muslims associated with the Institute of Interfaith Dialog have worked together to promote mutual respect, understanding, peace and the common good both in the United States and around the world.”
While the documentary has aired on more than 120 ABC-TV stations and will air on other ABC-TV stations through February, plans for screening discussions are under way in a number of locations.
Calling the documentary a “noble project,” Jerry Cain, president of Judson University in Elgin, Ill., said its release was “timed ideally” for his school, which is affiliated with American Baptist Churches-USA.
“The first mosque will open in our suburban Chicago city early in 2010 and this documentary will serve as the basis for our campus conversations about this new neighbor,” he told EthicsDaily.com.
“Our student diversity group, BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), not only wants to talk about our new neighbors but wants to talk with our new neighbors at the new mosque,” said Cain. “Thus we hope the presentations in our chapel and in our classrooms, based on ‘Different Books, Common Word,’ will facilitate that conversation. To adequately love our neighbor, we must get to know our neighbor.”
The Baptist House of Studies and the Muslim Student Association at Duke University in Durham, N.C., are planning a joint screening, according to Curtis Freeman, director and research professor of theology and Baptist studies.
To learn more about the film, click here.