An Unexpected Friendship

This video showcases the friendship between Interfaith Youth Core’s alumni Hannah Minks, a Roman Catholic, and Usra Ghazi, a Muslim. Hannah and Usra became friends as staff at IFYC but encountered difficulties as they learned of divergent viewpoints around the 2016 elections. How can we maintain friendships in the midst of deep divides? Our diverse democracy requires that we find a way to navigate this tension. IFYC’s understanding of religious pluralism affirms the possibility of identifying and acting on shared values even as we maintain deep disagreement on important issues.

This video can be used for a variety of educational purposes:

1) Use it to explore the definition of religious pluralism in the American context. Check out the Interfaith Leadership Video series for more content on that front. What does it look like to hold disagreement and shared values as equal possibilities within our civic relationships? Why does the American context demand this kind of possibility?

2) Use it to explore what respectful disagreement looks like between individuals. What tactics and values did Hannah and Usra utilize to communicate with one another? What skills would an individual need to successfully communicate across lines of difference in an interfaith context?

3) Use it to prompt individual reflection on personal difficulty in bridge-building. We all have our own deep value commitments, and awareness of those commitments will help us know when we need to navigate carefully with people with whom we disagree. How do we stay true to our personal commitments while also maintaining respect for other perspectives?

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.