A Conversation with Moses, Jesus and Muhammad

Cameron Gorman

Kent State and The University of Akron’s Muslim Student Associations held a gathering of many faiths on Saturday night in the Student Center among electric candle light, with a discussion titled, “A Conversation with Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.”

The sold-out event was also sponsored by Islamic Society of Akron and Kent, Mishkah, and the Madinah Project, with featured presentations and sermons from leaders of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.

The main portion of the event was portrayed through several talks on the legacies of each figure; Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Hisham Mahmoud, a professor of Harvard University lead the discussion on all three, and spoke about Muhammad at length.

“Every nation and tribe was sent a prophet who spoke to them in their own tongue, and we do not draw any distinction between one of God’s prophets and the other,” Mahmoud said. “However, God has distinguished five of them … Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Among these five, history has best recorded into scripture the last three. Thus, these three prophets have had the most impact on the trajectory of the future, and they are also our link to the past.”

Janet Ross, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, spoke about the legacy of Jesus.

“God took the form of humanity in Jesus,” Ross said, “and God continues to seek to take the form of humanity in each and every one of us.”

Lee Moore, the rabbi of Kent State Hillel, covered the portion of the legacy of Moses, where she spoke about the power of several different women on his life.

Moore said the strength of the country is a commitment to equality and working things through a local, regional and national way, especially to understand one another.

“We can’t do that if we don’t understand each other …. I’ve really been witnessing a lot of ignorance lately,” Moore said. “The only antidote to ignorance is exposure and true communication.”

Kent State graduate student Fatima Shendy gave a poetry performance, and speeches by several members of the Muslim community, including former MSA president Amanda Lamadanie, continued the unitarian theme of the evening.

Speaker Saad Omar ended the speech by breaking down each religion talked about, and putting some closing thoughts to them.

“The Jewish community is inspired by Moses, the prophet of Justice. If the prophet of Justice brings into the world people who are not just, then they are not Jews,” Omar said.

He continued: “Jesus is the prophet of love. There’s a lot of hatred in the name of Jesus but those are not Christians.”

“Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, came with mercy, and there are some people in the world that are killing innocent people in the name of Islam … they’re not Muslims,” Omar said.

Jamela Aintrazi, who traveled all they way from North Carolina in order to attend the program, said she hopes it unites the three religions.

“I hope people will take away the fact that all three of the religions (are) under the big father, who is Abraham,” she said. “Everyone’s watching the news now, and everyone’s being more inclined to know the different religions, so it’s just really good for everyone to gain knowledge the right way, and not be ignorant about it, and just learn with each other.”

Cameron Gorman is a diversity reporter, contact her at [email protected]