Delegation of Saudi Leaders visit ICSC
By: Shirin Karoon Nouh
On Friday, January 25, a group delegation from Saudi Arabia, which included professors, preachers, and a Deputy Minister of Mosque Affairs visited the Islamic Center of Southern California. They were invited by the U.S. Department of State to visit institutions that would give them a broader insight and understanding in interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution.
Chairman Elhami Naser and Dean of Bayan College, Jihad Turk, welcomed the group. Dr. Maher Hathout shared the ideology and mission of the Islamic Center with them. He stated that the Center is an independent organization. Its purpose is to practice and share the values of Islam in the United Stated. The emergence of an American Muslim identity is its prime goal.
The sources of Islam are the Holy Quran and the non-controversially relayed (sahih) tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). Islam is the universal mercy of God. Choosing a school of thought (mazhab) is a matter of personal preference, not a policy of the Center.
Dr. Maher also shared the philosophy of the Center and the wisdom of its vision of how we engage in society with our well-adjusted identity as American Muslims:
- We are not involved in dialogue and do not claim to be better than the other
- We are not here to tolerate the other
- We do not argue or debate our differences, rather we are here to get to know each other for who we are. Our aim is to find the common ground and similarities that we stand for so that we can collaborate and work together for the good of society and we can focus on projects that benefit humanity.
The group also met with faculties of Bayan College and members of MPAC and engaged in a much friendly and informative discussion session of- questions and answers.