Dr. Parvez Ahmed serves as Professor of Finance at the University of North Florida but his real passion is building interfaith relationships with his neighbors: from organizing an interfaith iftar to writing for his blog, Advocating for the Common Good.
No one event or dialog will unite a divided world, Ahmed believes, but we need persistence. We must take small steps and work together to reconcile the differences that divide us the most.
“It’s a journey. Expect no silver bullets,” Ahmed says.
This commitment to process is clear in Ahmed’s involvement with the Shalom Hartman Institute, where he held a fellowship as a Muslim scholar last year. There, he worked to reduce Islamophobia in Jewish communities and anti-Semitism in Muslim ones by bringing people together for a robust dialog on all of their issues: including thorny ones like questions surrounding Israel/Palestine.
Ahmed advises us not to seek merely an intellectual understanding of another faith, but to seek deep relationships with people different from ourselves. This is the only way we can look beyond our own faith to seek the good of the entire community.