Inside Islam Radio Show…Bridging the Faith Divide: Eboo Patel and the Interfaith Youth Core

Eboo Patel Photo: Carlos Ortiz, The New York Times

Tomorrow at 3 pm central standard time (GMT-5:00), Muslim-American Eboo Patel will speak with Jean Feraca about his organization, Interfaith Youth Core, and its mission to counter religious extremism by building young leaders through service projects and interfaith dialogue. Make sure to tune in to a live webstream of the show!

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Eboo Patel: One Muslim’s Vision for Interfaith Dialogue and Service

Eboo Patel speaks with students, University of Chicago Divinity School Photo: Stephen J. Carrera

On September 27  October 19, Here on Earth Host Jean Feraca will speak with Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), to discuss the latest IFYC success in promoting dialogue and strengthening communities through service.

Building on his previous experience with interfaith service projects in South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka, Eboo Patel started Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) in 2002 from the humble settings of a Chicago basement. In just under a decade, Patel’s vision to build religious pluralism has created interfaith dialogue and service projects on all six continents and IFYC has hosted delegations and trainings from 16 countries.

Conferences, trainings, and dialogue are important to IFYC, but the primary purpose of Patel and the other 30 full-time IFYC staff is to build leadership within all faith communities. Patel notes that while 99% the world “inclines towards tolerance and cooperation,” a large portion of the remaining 1% are strong leaders and successful in their pursuit to discriminate and divide. Patel believes that if a larger portion of that 99% become leaders in their own communities, a better, stronger world will emerge.

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Eboo Patel on White House Faith-Based Partnerships

In an earlier post here on Inside Islam, we announced President Obama’s expansion of federal funding to faith-based and community partnerships. Executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core Eboo Patel opened up in an interview on CNN about President Obama’s decision to expand federal funding and support interfaith cooperation. He also addressed criticism that religious organizations are more likely to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of personal belief.

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Eboo Patel and The Interfaith Generation

Interfaith Youth Core (Flickr)Writer, scholar, and youth leader Eboo Patel is executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core and writes a blog for The Washington Post. Patel’s ongoing work with youth and study of religious divisions is rooted in his own struggle choosing between Indian, Muslim, and American identities and faith in a common “dream of pluralism.” In Acts of Faith, he defines pluralism as

a form of proactive cooperation that affirms the identity of the constituent communities while emphasizing that the wellbeing of each and all depends on the health of the whole. It is the belief that the common good is best served when each community has a chance to make its unique contribution.

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