Forum to discuss religious differences

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One of the most diverse schools in the district, the student body is made up of people from many different religions and ethnicities. Thursday’s Let’s Talk religious diversity discussion forum from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the auditorium is a time to talk about these differences.

The final product of ISM senior Jay Schlaegel, the forum will feature representatives from the three religions that have campus clubs: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.

The more we talk, the closer we’ll grow and the better we’ll be able to understand each other.”

— senior Jay Schlaegel

“I decided to host this discussion because I believe that cooperation manifests itself through communication,” Schlaegel said. “Rather than keeping silent about what matters most to us, what defines us, what motivates us, let’s talk. The more we talk, the closer we’ll grow and the better we’ll be able to understand each other.”

The speakers hope to inspire and teach students about the multiple religions that are present in the school.

“Our primary goal of the Let’s Talk event is to promote healthy discussion,” senior Shahir Ahmed. “Although we come from different backgrounds and different faiths, it is important for us as individuals to take the time to understand each other. The only way for us to get people to understand our faith is if we make an effort to understand theirs. During this event, we will be talking about multiple things, including basic beliefs, dispelling misconceptions about each other’s faiths, and asking each other about what we really believe in and how we can incorporate this mentality into the framework of the religious organizations in our school.”

Although there may be some evidence that the country is becoming less religious, Texas ranks as the 11th most religious state.

“Students are extremely accepting of other religions,” Ahmed said. “I’ve never been in a situation where someone has looked down on me or questioned me because of my faith, and Liberty promotes an environment that is beneficial not just to people of our faith, but people of all faith, and that’s really what’s important here.”

By bringing together representatives from three religions, the student representatives hope to spur great communication.

The only way for us to get people to understand our faith is if we make an effort to understand theirs.”

— senior Shahir Ahmed

“I hope this discussion unites a lot of Liberty students and students from other campuses, as well, to be more open and free to talk about religion without any misunderstandings or misconceptions and really work past barriers,” senior Roshni Pakhir said. “I just think the students are unaware of a lot of factors of religion that affect your daily life.

While there is debate as to whether religion unites or divides people, the students involved hope the Let’s Talk Forum brings people together.

“We hope to accomplish unity in our community,” Schlaegel said. “We seek not to be the beginning and end of all controversial conversation. We hope to set a fire in the hearts of all those that are able to listen, a fire that burns passionately to open up with those that you’re around everyday.”