Islamic group to host interfaith Ramadan dinner

In hopes of demonstrating how similar the values are that are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims, the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge again will host an interfaith Ramadan potluck dinner.

The event will be held Friday, July 27, at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, 4469 Chevy Chase Drive.

Once a year, the local Islamic congregation invites people from all faiths to come together for a night of prayer, education, dinner and a chance to grow together as a community, according to spokesman Levent Akbarut.

“There continues to be a massive gulf between the perception of Islam as portrayed by sensationalistic news headlines versus what your common-day American Muslim life is really like,” Akbarut said.

Friday night will grant an opportunity for non-Muslims to witness and learn about a Maghrib, or sunset, prayer. The Maghrib will serve as the opening to the evening. To improve understanding of the prayer, Akbarut will take non-Muslims to the side and explain the prayer in English.

At about 8:15, the dinner portion of the evening will commence, followed by a presentation offered by Dawud Abdullah, who will speak on, “Reflections on the Ramadan.”

In the end, events like this are beneficial to the community, said Carol Martin, a former board member and active volunteer with the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity who has attended the interfaith dinner in recent years.

“It gives us a global perspective of people,” Martin said of the event, adding that the Islamic community has helped her group in the construction of more than 14 homes.

Martin says that there is no political agenda to the dinner, and that the event “is very American.”

DAVID A. GELT is a Times Community News North intern.

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