This Sunday morning, May 22, at 10 a.m., the sounds of the adhan — the Muslim call to prayer — will ring out in St. John’s Episcopal Church Montclair.
While there’s no minaret at the church, the words of “Allahu akbar,” (God is greater) will none-the-less invite both Christians and Muslims to worship side by side. During the interfaith service, verses from the Holy Qur’an will complement readings from the Holy Bible, including during Communion, embracing the traditions of both religions.
Reverend Andrew Butler, Rector of St. John’s parish since September 1, 2010, decided to have this service in order to demonstrate that both Islam and Christianity stem from Abrahamic roots, as well as to dispell negative stereotypes about the Muslim faith.
“I’ve grown concerned about the demonization of Muslims. I want Montclair to develop an understanding of the religion.” Reverend Butler stated.
In addition to Butler, speakers will include Anisa Mehdi, a scholar and journalist who will describe what it means to be a Muslim in America and Abdul-Alim Mubarak-Rowe, an assistant Imam at Masjid Waarith ud Deen in Irvington, a media consultant to the American Muslim Alliance and a journalist.
The Reverend went on to say, “We are trying to find ways to blend our community through religion. It’s hard, but we can accomplish it through this organic event and working together through outreach and other ministries of compassion.”
This interfaith service isn’t only trying to blend religions, is also a way to invite the public to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church. After the service, at 11am, conversation about Islam and Islam in America will continue.