|Faith In Diversity Institute (FID) was inspired by the friendship of Robert H. Stucky and Sadig A. Malki, two men of radically different backgrounds who found bonds of common faith and experience in the wake of the September 11 tragedy through studying scriptural texts together. One, at that time a Christian clergyman in a heavily Jewish neighborhood who opened his church’s doors to all faiths, the other a political scientist and economist from Mecca in Saudi Arabia, were neighbors in Baltimore. Invited to church by a friend, Sadig Malki was welcomed by Robert Stucky with open arms, and was inspired to frequently attend Sunday morning Bible Study and both share his Muslim perspectives on the Judeo-Christian scriptures, and learn of Christian perspectives on related material in the Muslim tradition. This growing exchange was mutually inspiring to both men, and a deep friendship was born.Alarmed by the sudden increase in religious rhetoric by both Christians and Muslims that abused the essentially peaceful message of scriptures to justify political violence following the September 11 tragedy, these two men began to discuss ways to address this issue in a way that would educate and inspire both the religious and non-religious, and promote the healthy trans-cultural spiritual practices that have a time-proven record of improving the quality of people’s lives.
Collaborating on an article that deconstructed the various ways in which cultures reduce their notions of the divine to specific cultural preferences, they came up with the idea of creating an organization to fight religious ignorance and intolerance through a non-competitive comparison of the world’s scriptures and the spiritual practices enshrined within them. Their assumption was that such practices are traceable back to the dawn of human civilization, in some sort of Darwinian sense, they must be essential or useful to our survival. The question they seek to address is not which tradition has the truth or best paradigm, but rather, how does that universal truth show up and how is it understood in the various traditions of the world- and what can we all learn from those various perceptions to create a more peaceful and balanced world.
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