Students Explore Religion through New Spiritual Club
By Patrick Maury

A group of students gather in a classroom after school, share their names and identify their religion with their peers as part of the first ever Interfaith Club meeting. Every other Wednesday, students of different religions meet after school to discuss their faith and share their beliefs.

Na f e e s Ahme d
speaks at the American

Joining the Whitman club scene this year, the Interfaith Club aims to provide students with a place to share their religion with their peers and partake in interfaith dialogue. To further this cause, the club plans to hold meetings and host fundraisers throughout the school year.
Sophomore and Interfaith Club president Nafees Ahmed delivers speeches around the nation promoting interfaith and has received awards for her efforts. “I have been dealing with interfaith for a long time. It [interfaith] has been a big part of my life,” Ahmed says.
Ahmed’s dedication to interfaith gave her the idea to create an Interfaith Club at Whitman. “If I am working on interfaith so much outside of school, I figured I should try and bring it into the school as well,” Ahmed says.
Interfaith Club allows students to discuss their religions with their peers of other faiths. “Interfaith Club is a society where people of different religions can come together and create interfaith dialogue,” Ahmed says.
Club sponsor Wendy Eagan, who teaches the Comparative Religions class, says an Interfaith club is a great opportunity for students to become more educated about religious tolerance. “These traditions have much more in common than people realize. I am very interested in students being able to have a greater understanding of other religions.”
At Welcome to Whitman Night, the Interfaith Club received a surprisingly large turnout of interested students Ahmed says. “My friends and I expected no one to sign up, but we got about 70 people to sign up. I was really pleased.”
Boosted by its successful Welcome to Whitman night, the club’s inaugural meeting yielded a high attendance and gave a chance for members to introduce themselves and describe their faith to others, Ahmed says. “At meetings, we plan to have discussions on religion and have speakers. I was very pleased with [the turnout] of the first meeting.”
Interfaith Club’s first meeting consisted of a diverse mix of religious faiths including Christians, Jews and Muslims . “It’s significant that Whitman has such a diverse student body. An interfaith club is a great opportunity for people of different faiths to come together,” Eagan says.
Once members achieve a better understanding of each other’s faiths, the club will host events and run activities, such as fundraisers for various causes, throughout the year. “We want to run fundraisers for different international affairs, for example the earthquake in Pakistan,” Ahmed says.
The Interfaith Club plans to continue holding meetings every other Wednesday throughout the year. “We want everyone at Whitman to have a clear view of different religions,” Ahmed says. “Our goal is to clear up stereotypes and misconceptions people have about different religions.” (Courtesy Black and White)




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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