‘Building Religious Tolerance’ Event at GCC April 5

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gateway Community College (GCC) will host an interfaith panel discussion on “Building Religious Tolerance in Our Community” on Tuesday, April 5.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. in room 160 on the college’s Long Wharf campus at 60 Sargent Drive. Refreshments will be served.

It is the second such event GCC has hosted since November. The first panel discussion was triggered by the Ground Zero mosque debate in New York and Qur’an burning threats by a Florida pastor.

Like the November event, the April 5 panel will feature Chaplain Omer Bajwa from Yale University, Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic from Temple Beth Sholom and Professor John A. Wilkinson of the Saint Thomas More Center at Yale.

Bajwa and Scolnic are also instructors for a GCC Humanities Department course offered this fall called “Building Religious Tolerance in Our Community.” This new course, ENG 298, will include a comprehensive exploration of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that will present students with insight into the origins, traditions, and sacred scriptures of each religion. The course’s objective is to bridge the religious and cultural gap in students’ understanding of their own faith, as well as the belief system of individuals from other Abrahamic faiths. The course will also aim to use education as the means of allowing students to build respect for, and understanding of other faiths in hopes of leading to enhanced levels of religious tolerance in our community.

The April 5 event is sponsored by GCC’s Women’s Center and its Humanities Department.