February 14th, 2011 | For more on this event, please visit: bit.ly/hNO479
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs | Georgetown University

Richard Cizik, founder and leader of the New Evangelical Association for the Common Good, led a discussion at the Berkley Center on February 14. The event was both a capstone and a report on a three day meeting at the Eastern Mennonite University that began on February 10, and a continuation of the discussion with a broader audience.

The meeting's central theme was dialogue between Christians and Muslims. The EMU meeting brought together a group of "new evangelicals", scholars from EMU, and other invited participants (including Eric Patterson from the Berkley Center). Many of the EMU participants joined the Berkley Center debrief which was also open to journalists. The Moroccan team included H.E. Aziz Mekouar, Morocco's ambassador to the United States and Driss Alaoui Mdaghri, former cabinet minister in several Moroccan government departments and now a civil society leader. The Casablanca Institute was a sponsor of the event; Cizik and Mdaghri are its co-chairs. A central theme of the Berkley event was the strength of common ground and shared interests that unite Morocco and the United States, and Christians and Muslims. This common ground relates both to global challenges like nuclear threats and climate change, and a commitment to rights and freedom. The discussion included a robust exploration of issues around varying interpretations of religious freedom, especially when it involves proselytizing, about American perceptions of Muslims (with shared concerns on negative attitudes in the United States and vice versa), and of the significance of stability versus social change.


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