Posted by Ronald Supancic
Peace Panel: Chaos, Conflict, Kumbaya: Can Religion Solve the Problems in our Community? World?  
Our club in partnership with the West Valley-Warner Center Chamber of Commerce held a successful Peace Panel on March 11: Chaos, Conflict, Kumbaya: Can Religion Solve the Problems in our Community? World?  The speakers were Rabbi Paul Kipnes of Congregation Or Ami (l –r) Taleb Alsafi, Resident Quran Reciter, the Islamic Society of the West Valley; Shaikh Suhail Mullah, Resident Scholar, the Islamic Society of the West Valley; and Dr. Ross Porter, director of Faith Formation & Evangelization, St. Mel Catholic Church).
The speakers did a great job. President Paul Gross' Rotary moment was when he said that he had a bias toward Muslims since 9/11 because he lost friends on that tragic day. Although the club met several times over the past few years with Valley Muslim groups, Paul always avoided being in group pictures. The idea for the panel grew out of his realization that maybe his thinking was wrong. Out of that change, Paul established the first panel on Religion and Peace in 2017. This year's panel continued that discussion. In addition, the format was altered to allow guests to interact with each other and provide their perspective on the issues being explored. The table discussions were facilitated by Mediators Beyond Borders facilitated table dialogue, which in lively exchanges and you can view on of them in the video below.
Dr. Ross Porter talked about changes at the Vatican including the cessation of proselytizing Jews and demonstrating respect for other religions. Rabbi Kipnes noted that we are similar and this is born out with MRIs and x-rays.  "We have discovered for are identical under the skin. So we need to look at people in turns of what is inside of them, not what is on the outside, particularly their skin color and dress."
"How can you reconcile Sharia law with ours in terms of forced marriage and child mutilation? Islamic women will tell you that most of this is untrue and occurs only with a small number of people.
People with a new consciousness find similarities between our beliefs," said Shaikh Suhail Mullah.
Sandy Rosenholz, Anna Sakvarelidze, and Ron Supancic assisted Paul in arranging the program.
 Click on the picture to view the video.