Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life


Interreligious Dialogue

L.A. Interfaith Gathering Commemorates 9/11 Victims

Published on, September 11, 2011

LA interfaith gatheringReligious leaders of a variety of faith groups honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a Saturday-evening ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall with the aim of fostering interfaith activity for peace.

About 900 people, representing at least 218 Los Angeles-area congregations, gathered “not just to memorialize our victims,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in his opening remarks, but also to recognize the differences and similarities among religions, and pray for peace. …


Muslim on Main Street: An interview with Akbar Ahmed

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, May 2011

Once an international diplomat, anthropologist Akbar Ahmed now seeks to build bridges between American Muslims and their neighbors. Continue reading “Muslim on Main Street: An interview with Akbar Ahmed”

How not to talk about God: An interview with Karen Armstrong

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, January 2010

The current debates about God’s existence hardly lift us up to transcendence. Karen Armstrong shares a vision of faith that is less about proofs than practice. Continue reading “How not to talk about God: An interview with Karen Armstrong”

Sensitivity training: An interview with Rabbi Ruth Langer

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, August 2009

Rabbi Ruth LangerCatholics need to learn more about their Jewish brothers and sisters, Rabbi Ruth Langer says, so they don’t make the same mistakes all over again.


The Prophet’s daughers: An interview with Syafa Almirzanah

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, January 2009

Syafa AlmirzanahThere’s much in Islam that favors women, says scholar Syafa Almirzanah. As sisters in faith Muslim and Catholic women can seek out such traditions together.


PDF of “The Prophet’s daughters”

Have faith in our youth: An interview with Eboo Patel

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, July 2008

Eboo PatelYoung people can change the world, this Muslim interfaith organizer says. They just need a chance to share their traditions with each other.


PDF of “Have faith in our youth”

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Following Pope Benedict XVI’s controversial remarks on Islam at the University of Regensburg in September 2007, U.S. Catholic published a series of articles about Muslim-Catholic dialogue. The February 2007 special section featured an interview of two experts in interreligious dialogue, a scholarly essay about the history of the relationship between the two religions, and this story on ordinary Muslims and Catholics seeking understanding:

Won’t you be my neighbor? (U.S. Catholic, February 2007)
Friendly meetings between Catholics and Muslims can make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood for all God’s children.


A couple of Muslim children-fourth- or fifth-graders probably-squirmed and whispered to each other in the middle of midday prayer at the Muslim-American Youth Academy (MAYA) in Dearborn, Michigan.

Teachers from St. Paul Catholic School in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan were not surprised. “They’re just like our students,” they commented. During their visit to MAYA and the Islamic Center of America, St. Paul students, too, found that the Muslim children are not unlike them: Not only do they all have school uniforms, but they all worship the God of Abraham.

“Some of the students had the idea that Muslims were terrorists, and there was some fear. That was completely gone after the trip,” says St. Paul principal Mary Miller. …


PDF of “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

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