LOGAN – Tien Lindsay had recently become a resident assistant with Utah State University Housing when she put together a potluck dinner for her residents, but she also wanted to include those who practice Islam. It was during Ramadan, a one-month period each year when Muslims worldwide abstain from eating and drinking between dawn and sunset, so she scheduled the dinner to be after the sun had gone down.
Lindsay said it turned out to be a very successful, uniting event. In addition to Muslims, there were also members of the LDS faith, Catholics and Buddhists.
“People that were practicing Islam, they really appreciated that we incorporated something specific to them,” she said. “They like it how there was a lot of outside people of different religions that asked them questions. Instead of talking about what made them different they talked about similarities.”
That was a few summers back. Now, after seeing the political climate and an added measure of negativity in the news, she wants to do it again. This time she is working alongside the Logan Islamic Center and the USU Interfaith Initiative to make it a bigger event open to the entire community. A local LDS Stake is providing some of the main dishes.
The dinner will begin after sunset on Thursday June 22, which is at about 8:45 p.m. It will take place at the Aggie Village pavilion. Lindsay encouraged those who come to bring a dish and maybe a blanket to sit on, as there are limited tables.
The goal, she said, is for those who attend to find some commonality with each other and to help people realize not everyone holds the strong, damaging views often portrayed in the media.
“We want to promote unity and goodwill toward one another,” Lindsay said. “That’s it really.”
She wants people from a wide range of faiths to show up at the event, but said the number of attendees isn’t what will make it successful.
“I really would like to encourage people to sit with other people that they don’t know and people of different faiths and talk about what brings them together,” she said, “what are their commonalities, what do they look forward to.”