Council Chairman Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin (left); Cardinal George (right).
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) honored His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, at a special dinner for his years of cooperation with and support of the Muslim community. A diverse group of nearly 300 Muslim and Catholic leaders gathered on Wednesday, April 2, and left with renewed friendships and willingness to work together.
Council Chairman Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin expressed his appreciation of the Cardinal, â€œwe thank and honor the Cardinal for making time for the Muslim community, for being generous in sharing Catholic resources for common good and for promoting a deeper understanding of our faiths through scholarly dialogues.â€ Dinner Chairman Talat Othman, who was instrumental in developing and organizing the dinner, said â€œwe thank the Cardinal as our faith tells us to be thankful to man if you want to be thankful to God.â€ Interfaith Committee Chair Dr. Shakir Moiduddin, past Council Chairman Dr. Talal Sunbulli, and Professor of Islamic Studies Dr. Inamul Haq also paid tribute to the Cardinal in light of their personal experiences.
Upon receiving an Award of Appreciation by the Council, the Cardinal spoke of the necessity of being a good neighbor. â€œThe goal of our relations should be to know our neighbors personally.â€ he said. Emphasizing one of his guiding principles in life and ministry, Cardinal George explained that â€œif you get relationships right, all the rest will follow.â€ This openness to fostering and developing relationships with Muslims in Illinois sets a tone for mutual understanding and interfaith community building, but also reflects the deep ties to the Abrahamic faith that Catholics and Muslims share.