On September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of one of the most horrible events in US history was marked by a conference held at the Salt Lake City Public Library.  Organizers Dr. Bahman Baktiari and Br. Safi Safiullah brought together some of the most amazing scholars and speakers today with the goal of building a future in which such a terrible thing will not, we pray, ever happen again.  The conference, Cultural and Religious Pluralism Today:  Building Civility & Unity, brought together Dr. Robert Hefner of Boston University and Dr. Charles M. Payne of the University of Chicago.  Panels ran throughout the 4-day conference with members of the diverse religious community of the Salt Lake area, including clergy of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim congregations as well as from many Christian denominations, from Quaker and Catholic to Mormon and Lutheran communities.  The panels dealt with sensitive and emotional subjects, concentrating on respect, civility, and regarding each other’s differences with dignity.  The excellent food from Café Mazza was amazing, the volunteers from U of U and Westminster College MSA were everywhere and very helpful, and the end-of-Ramadan party was great fun for all the kids and their families.

It was amazing and wonderful that so many people of such diverse backgrounds were able to gather peaceably and enjoy each other’s company.