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Speaker unites local faiths

In their continuing effort to reach across faith lines, the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge invited Michael Josephson to speak at last Friday’s potluck meeting.

Josephson, who is known for his Character Counts commentaries on KNX radio is also founder of the Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute on Ethics, spoke to the audience of their common bound of ethics.

Members from all religious backgrounds including Jewish and Christian faiths joined the congregation at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge to share a meal and find common ground, said Levent Akbarut, of the Islamic Congregation.

“He spoke in the content that character counts and encouraged us to build bridges instead of building walls,” Akbarut said.

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He added that although many times diversity in faith is emphasized more than what unifies different congregations. A unity of family love and respect is a foundation that is not only just based in Islamic faith but also in faiths.

Akbarut said that Josephson’s philosophy of ethics highlighted the congregations initial goal of reaching out to the community.

“[Josephson’s philosophy] is not to focus on what makes us different but what brings us together,” he said. “He represented an ideal speaker.”

Many issues Josephson touched on in his speech rang true to all in the audience.

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“He [Josephson] read a poem at the end of his speech that really hit the mark,” Akbarut said.

He quoted the poem: “Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.”


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