Building Bridges to Our Neighbors

Mary Collins

Immigration is the backbone of the United States. For years upon years immigrants have come and assimilated into American culture. In Dearborn, Michigan the largest concentration of Muslims reside besides the Middle East. Most are immigrants or first-generation Americans, they bring culture and faith to the Dearborn area. Dearborn is predominantly Christian, and the recent influx of Muslims has created a noticeable separation. To build bridges Divine Child Church organized “Sharing Our Lives- A Muslim- Catholic Dialogue for Greater Understanding”.
This event involved three Catholic speakers and three Muslim, they tackled certain topics with the efforts in finding the similarities and not the differences. Imam Mohamed Almasmari said, “we find unity in issues of humans we all speak a common language; love.” Regardless of topic, all speakers connected back to the idea of thinking with hands and not heads. The event brought many from churches and mosques, a convert to the Muslim faith named Yosef was extremely glad to be having the conversation of unity “a lot of communities try to find the differences and I hope that people’s perspectives would change after this”. Muslims and Christians believe in the same God. They share the same reverence for life.
Many young faithful people filled the auditorium for example a young immigrant named Hussein. He is a member of the House of Wisdom and heard about this event from Imam Mohamed Almasmari, he was living in Lebanon prior to August and currently attends college. Being a young faithful Muslim, he was excited to have a unifying conversation because “we try to get along as best we can” he was informative about the good relations he’s personally seen between Lebanon Christians and Lebanon Muslims.

In a time of political polarization and civil unrest, this event brought community to the Dearborn area.