Interfaith requires effort

Column by Ash Kelly.
Column by Ash Kelly.

The Langara Muslim Student Association and the Jewish Student Association had a hot date back in early February, but unless they get serious I don’t see this relationship going anywhere.

The two groups have been hanging out weekly since November to discuss school, politics, current events and whatever else comes up, which is fantastic. But even they admit those meetings are mostly about food.

They tried to really get down to business in February with an official interfaith event which organizer Rabbi Philip Bregman compared to a first date.

The thing about most first dates, at least the ones I’ve been on, is that the conversation sucks. It’s generally superficial and doesn’t reveal much about the participants’ true character.

First dates are necessary; all relationships have to start somewhere. They have to get through the “tell-me-about-yourself” phase before the conversation gets real.

The Langara MSA and the JSA need to develop the conversation to get to the deeper issues that have created barriers between the two groups for so long. It won’t be easy, but it may be revolutionary.

Tough conversations are necessary

They are going to have to talk about war. They are going to have to talk about Israel, Palestine, stereotypes, racism and politics. They are going to have to invite the Christian clubs to the conversation, because dating exclusively doesn’t make sense right now. College is about experimenting.

It makes sense that the first date was bit awkward, but I hope they can get it together for the second and third, maybe even start seeing each other regularly with a little Christian perspective on the side.

I commend everyone involved for getting this process started. It is so great to see students and community leaders taking positive steps to help the great Canadian multicultural experiment succeed.

I just hope the relationship doesn’t fizzle in its early stages, because it shows such promising signs of long-term potential.

Reported by Ash Kelly

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