Rice’s Boniuk Center and Asia Society Texas to host intrafaith dialogue on Islam Feb. 21

Rice University’s Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance is joining forces with the Asia Society Texas Center to host an evening of intrafaith dialogue Feb. 21. The conversation will feature four imams representing the Ahmadiyya, African-American, Shia and Sunni traditions of Islam.

The conversation, “Intrafaith Perspectives on Islam,” will be at 7 p.m. at the Asia Society Texas Center’s Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, 1370 Southmore Blvd. A reception will be at 6:30 p.m.

As Houston claims its title as “the most diverse city in the United States,” event organizers said this panel marks a unique opportunity to understand better the depth and breadth of that diversity, what it portends for the city and how it reflects contemporary America.

The panelists will explore such topics as how cultural and generational nuances manifest themselves in the various Islamic communities; the role of grace, fellowship and forgiveness in Islamic traditions; and what they most want those outside Islam to know about their faith.

Moderated by Mike Ghouse, president of the Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, the dialogue will involve these four imams:

•             Imam Azhar Haneef, vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of the United States, Silver Spring, Md.

•             Imam Wazir Ali, Masjid Warithud-Deen Mohammed and Masjid Al-Qur’an, Houston.

•             Imam Moustafa al-Qazwini, founding director of the Islamic Education Center of Orange County, Calif.

•             Imam Zia Shaikh, Islamic Center of Irving, Texas.

Tickets are free with reservations, but the limit is four tickets per person. To RSVP, go to http://asiasociety.org/texas/events/intrafaith-perspectives-islam.

The event is part of the Boniuk Center’s Bridge Builder Lecture Series and the Asia Society Texas Center’s Partnerships and Collaborations Series.

The Boniuk Center is dedicated to nurturing tolerance among people of all and no faiths, especially youth, and to studying the conditions in which tolerance and intolerance flourish. For more on the Boniuk Center, go to http://boniuk.rice.edu.

The Asia Society Texas Center is part of a leading global educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. For more information, visit www.asiasociety.org/texas.

About Jeff Falk