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Digby reverend to lead sessions informing community on Islam

Community members gather to discuss inclusivity within Digby County, and across Southwest Nova Scotia. These sessions will seek to engage more people in the conversation.
Community members gather to discuss inclusivity within Digby County, and across Southwest Nova Scotia. These sessions will seek to engage more people in the conversation.

DIGBY, NS - Grace United Church will host a series of information sessions on Islam seeking to promote a better understanding of the faith among Digby community members of all denominations and beliefs.

Reverend Alex Constable will lead the sessions, titled ‘The Jesus Fatwah: Loving Your Muslim Neighbour as Yourself.’ These will take place each Wednesday at 7 p.m. during Lent, from March 8 until April 5.

The sessions are titled after a video tutorial produced by Living the Questions. The tutorials feature Christian and Muslim clergy people discussing Islam in a modern context and questions many people have about it, all aiming at dispelling misinformation that surrounds Islam.

Constable says he chose Lent as the time for the sessions because “it’s a time to say, ‘Let’s be reflective and learn something.’”

He also wanted to have a series of educational sessions since the united church’s manse is where a Syrian refugee family has been living for the past year. The family is Muslim, and Constable feels the community at large could benefit from information on Islam.

He used the video information sessions while serving at a church in Ontario, and saw much success among the congregation.

“It created an accepting atmosphere and facilitated an exchange of ideas,” he says, hoping the sessions will have a similar effect in Digby.

Constable wants people who attend the sessions to take away “an interest in learning more about Islam,” and also “a healthy scepticism to use when reading reports about Islamic ‘extremism.’”

These sessions are part of a wider conversation of inclusivity in Digby which began following a vigil held to honour the victims of the Jan. 29 Quebec City shootings.

Reverend Alex Constable will lead the sessions, titled ‘The Jesus Fatwah: Loving Your Muslim Neighbour as Yourself.’ These will take place each Wednesday at 7 p.m. during Lent, from March 8 until April 5.

The sessions are titled after a video tutorial produced by Living the Questions. The tutorials feature Christian and Muslim clergy people discussing Islam in a modern context and questions many people have about it, all aiming at dispelling misinformation that surrounds Islam.

Constable says he chose Lent as the time for the sessions because “it’s a time to say, ‘Let’s be reflective and learn something.’”

He also wanted to have a series of educational sessions since the united church’s manse is where a Syrian refugee family has been living for the past year. The family is Muslim, and Constable feels the community at large could benefit from information on Islam.

He used the video information sessions while serving at a church in Ontario, and saw much success among the congregation.

“It created an accepting atmosphere and facilitated an exchange of ideas,” he says, hoping the sessions will have a similar effect in Digby.

Constable wants people who attend the sessions to take away “an interest in learning more about Islam,” and also “a healthy scepticism to use when reading reports about Islamic ‘extremism.’”

These sessions are part of a wider conversation of inclusivity in Digby which began following a vigil held to honour the victims of the Jan. 29 Quebec City shootings.

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