EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin - Muslim and Jewish volunteers have joined hands in the north-central US state of Wisconsin to prepare a special meal for their Christian neighbors celebrating their annual Easter holiday.
Easter is not our holiday, it's not a Muslim holiday; why don't we call our friends at the mosque and get together, Suzon Gordon, a member of the local Jewish community, told WEAU News website.
Putting their differences aside, volunteers from Muslim and Jewish communities joined hands to prepare meals for their Christian neighbors on Easter holiday.
Working side by side, Muslims and Jews stood at the Community table to present chicken, mashed potatoes and salad.
The Islamic Center in Altoona and Temple Sholom in Eau Claire helped provide items for the event.
Some of us study together, the history of the two faiths because they go back to the same forbearer, Gordon said.
We all know we have some common interests because we're both minorities.
Christians celebrated on March 29, the Good Friday, a religious holiday observed by Christians in commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus and his death, an event central to Christian faith.
The celebration is followed by Easter which is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Held for the third consecutive year, Muslim and Jewish volunteers served a free Easter meal for those in need
It's always fun, the kids enjoy doing it with us every year, Maryam Suhail, a member of the local Muslim community, said.
And it feels good to help out others.
The event also offered a unique opportunity to connect followers of the two faiths, helping them to find a common ground.
My husband's colleagues, he has some Jewish friends, Suhail said.
We get along pretty well and you can see that here today.
Though there are no official figures, America is believed to be home to a Muslim community of between six to eight million.
A 2010 report of the North American Jewish Data Bank puts the number of Jews in the US at around 6.5 million.
Interfaith ties between American Muslim and Jewish leaders have a history of successes.
Founded in 1989, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding has worked for years to improve black-Jewish relations as well as Latino-Jewish relations.
In recent years, the group has focused on Jewish-Muslim relations, planning a series of efforts to promote understanding.
The group has launched an initiative titled Twinning Mosques and Synagogues to promote ethnic harmony and build inter-group grassroots ties.
Since the initiative began in 2008, it brought together 50 Jewish and 50 Muslim congregations across the United States and Canada at one-on-one programs.A group of high-profile Muslim and Jewish organizations participate in the initiative, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM).
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net