Islamic Center of Inland Empire Hosts Interfaith Iftar Dinner
By Haseeb Patail
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja and Faiz Ahmed
Pictures above: Glimpses of the Interfaith Iftar Dinner hosted by the Islamic Center of Inland Empire
In the City of Rancho Cucamonga , at the Islamic Center of Inland Empire (ICIE), a special Interfaith Iftar Dinner event was hosted on Monday, August 23 2010 . Iftar in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is an evening event when the Muslims break their day-long fast of refraining from eating and drinking (even water) during the daylight hours.
The event brought together the preachers and practitioners of the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity, as well as other non-Abrahamic faiths such as Native American Indian. Most notably, the event was also attended by the Center’s neighbors, City of Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Protem , the City Councils, Law Enforcement Agencies, Claremont School of Theology, and representatives from local charity organizations
The Master of Ceremony was Rahmi Mawjood, a family medicine physician by profession. He and Shoaib Patail, Chairperson of the Center and a pediatrician by profession, welcomed the guests. Ahmed Soboh, a dentist by profession, highlighted the significance of fasting in the month of Ramadan. Besides Rancho Cucamonga, the guests came from Los Angeles, Walnut, Claremont, Ontario, and Fontana. He announced that the dinner event was hosted to bring people from different school of thoughts together and to foster brotherly relationship.
The keynote speaker was the Mayor Protem, Dennis Michael. In his speech the Mayor Protem mentioned that he was proud of the City of Rancho Cucamonga and its diversified community. He also mentioned that American Muslims are an important part of the fabric of the United States of America . He appreciated ICIE for its generous contribution to the City and local organizations locally and abroad during disaster and calamity.
Mr. Michael greatly appreciated the hospitality of the Center for organizing the well-attended, lively event, and serving a sumptuous Mediterranean dinner. He also thanked the Host Committee and the Muslim community for their continuous and tireless contribution for the City and the United States of America. He was very impressed with the Pakistan Relief Effort by the Center. Mayor Protem acknowledged with gratitude the generous hospitality by the community.
Mr. Adnan Khan, President of Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPPA), took the stage and highlighted the current issues confronting Pakistan with the flood and its aftermath. He mentioned COPAA is playing a vital role in engaging with the US State Department, different NGOs as well as the Military Relief Effort in Pakistan . He emphasized that in these difficult times it was absolutely essential for the community to come forward and donate generously despite the donation fatigue. He also stressed the importance of Muslims’ engagement with fellow Americans to raise the awareness of the current disaster in Pakistan .
The guests received a tour of the Center. The guests observed the Maghrib (Evening) Salat (Prayer). At the end of the event, all non-Muslim guests received a gift basket on behalf of the Center.