Muslims and Christians working together for a better tomorrow
Channel: The Deen Show
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with Dr. Ken Bedell
Bismillah Alhamdulillah Salaam Alaikum Peace be with you. Welcome to the deen Show. I'm your host and you tuned in for another great episode here on the deen show our next guests coming out. Dr. Ken, who's with the US Department of Education. And we're going to be learning how Muslims organizations such as Muslim American society, Islamic circle of North America and other organizations are coming together to work together to make communities a better place here in the United States of America. On the deen show. We'll be right back.
Welcome back to the dean show on a D show studio, Dr. Ken Beto fidella. How are you sir? I'm great. Peace be with you. Please be with you. How are you? Good. It's good to be here. Thank you for inviting me. It's good to be have you here with us on today's show. You like surprises? Well, not usually. Well, I mean, everyone likes gifts. So I got a gift for you. Oh, okay. So I open this now. You don't have to open it now. If you'd like. I mean, you can? Sure I'll open this. Go ahead.
We'll, I saw this from I thought since we've never met officially. Okay. You can know a little bit more about the show and myself through this gift here. Okay. Yeah. Oh, look at that.
Yeah. So this is kind of a story about my life. And this is a gift to you from me. And so how do you see it from DNA from dunya? Today in the dunya? Yeah, from dunya to dB. All right. So I hope you enjoy that. Well, thank you very much. So now you're with the year with the US Department of Education. That's correct. For our viewers that that have no idea what this is. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your history with the US Department? Sure.
I work in the Department of Education, which is
one of the agencies in the United States government that has
an area of faith based and Neighborhood Partnerships centers, there are actually 13 different agencies that have these offices or centers that work to bring together faith based organizations and community based organizations to support the agendas of those offices, the Department of Education was
formed as a separate agency under President Johnson, in order to address the specific needs of the country for supporting education. Currently, the Department of Education provides about 10% of the budget that is across the whole nation for education. So 90% of the expenses for educating children, this is through high school goes is taken care of by states and local taxes and, and other means, and then 10% of the support comes from the US Department of Education. Now, before that, what did you used to do before you were 16 years, something like that you lead the congregation you are? Yeah, I'm New York. I'm an ordained United Methodist pastor, and have served congregations in New
York and Maryland and in Ohio. I've also worked as a seminary professor, where I worked in it actually communications and taught Communications at a theological school. This was back in the late 80s and early 90s. And being we didn't have at the seminary, a studio that says nisis is your studio. Thank you so much, sir. How did you get now involved with the US Department of Education?
When, when President Obama was elected at the time, I was working for the United Methodist Church in higher education, the United Methodist Church has 123 colleges and universities that are related to the church, and I was heading up that work. And when the President Obama was elected, I contacted some people that I knew that worked. were actually working in his transition, and said, I'd really like to work
work in the faith based area of what's going to be happening in education in your administration. Now, what do you mean when we say faith based? What what does that actually mean? That we concentrate on any organization that has a religious basis. So whether it's it's Muslim, or Jewish or Christian, that organizations that come out of that kind of faith tradition, and our goal is to
connect with them to provide them with resources to facilitate their support of education, both at the level of high schools, elementary schools and high schools, and also colleges and, and graduate schools. That's a beautiful thing that we live in such a wonderful country that's never lived God or the equation that you have on the dollar bill. And God We Trust, to take an oath, you say, I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth? The truth, so help you? God. Right, exactly. So people coming together working together for a better tomorrow trying to live in peace and harmony? And is this what this organization is about? And that's exactly you've got it exactly right is to
say there's there's always been a kind of partnership between different levels in our society, but from the families, to organizations like mosques, and synagogues, and churches, to state governments, to school boards, and in the federal government, and the federal government is a partner in what we're all doing to work together for in terms of education for our children. Now, let me get some, I just want to, I'm gonna go off on a tangent just for a second. Now, we got love for everybody. And tell us now, in your experience, I mean, you've talked with a lot of people, let's say you talk with an atheist, who doesn't believe in God, what what kind of maybe you can
share a scenario that you ever had, that you tried to talk with someone and reason with them about the existence of God so that we can learn from ever had that scenario? Yeah.
Let me let me kind of come at that like, is the covenant in us in a sideway, is that my experience is that every single person has a place that they're coming from, that that their their faith is, maybe their faith, could be Christian. And sometimes people will say, Well, I'm not part of any faith. But as you talk to them, what you discover is that they have strong beliefs, or that they have commitments. And maybe they'll say, well, well, I think that what's happening to the environment needs to be addressed very seriously. Or maybe they'll say, I'm concerned about all these wars, or, or I'm concerned about people who were in prison that have only had maybe a small
amount of marijuana, and yet they're separated from their children and, and their families. And so, what, what I've discovered there, many of us, like myself, who come from a Christian have a particular faith, grounding, that's, that's in a tradition. But then even people who say, Well, I don't have a tradition still, there's something in them that is their of their belief and, and that determines their values. Like I said, We'd love for all but have you ever heard this one? There's no atheist and hawks foxholes. Well, I've heard that
we're gonna take a break and continue on talking about this program here with the US Department of Education so which educated people we can work together on making our place that we live in our communities a better place here on the show we'll be right back.
He is that you say that you do not believe in Jesus you have stepped outside of Islam you cannot be a Muslim is attended our faith to believe in in love Jesus Christ.
I would say this thing that you just told me, it's not in the Scripture. And they would say a marginal note added by a scribe. Yeah, okay. We know that. And I'd be thinking if you know, this is not the Bible. Why are you preaching it as if it's gospel truth.
And if we're going to worship something, I figured I might as well worship the Creator, instead of any of the creations.
Now it upon investigating the villages, I remember finding out the meaning of what Islam is what a Muslim is. Those who surrender themselves to God is a Muslim. Those who submit submit to God, God's will that Islam was pure, it was just, you just pray to god you create
Back here on the D show with Dr. Ken. And we were talking about this program that the US Department has, why do they have this program? Now again, why the US Department of Education does faith based program? Why is it dead? Sure. Let me illustrate that with two specific examples of things that that we're doing. One is a program that's called together for tomorrow. And I think when you see what the program is, then it becomes obvious why we have it together for tomorrow's a program that asks communities to work together, particularly in low performing schools. We know that about 10% of the schools in America are producing more than half of our high school dropouts. And so that what Arnie
Duncan, the Secretary of Education has said is if we can fix those bottom 10% will greatly decrease the number of high school dropouts and increase the overall quality of our American schools. And so what together for tomorrow does is challenges communities to put together plans to work on attendance, behavior, course performance, and college accessibility. And for us, sometimes it's it's churches and ymcas. And mosques and synagogues say, what kind of programs can we have? Can we have after school tutoring programs? Can we have parents making sure that they're safe passage to school? Can? Can we help with the nutritional needs of the students so so together for tomorrow is a program
that is encouraging and facilitating community groups and faith based organizations to really make a difference in what's happening in our schools? So I think that really answers the reason for this, because it can really make a big difference in what's happening. In addition, is it making a difference? What's been the response? Yeah, that's far. Yeah. We're, we're seeing the initiation of programs in cities and across the country. And there's even there's some of them that are in smaller towns and in rural areas where
people are saying, okay, we really, we're ready to make a difference. Now. So far, there hasn't been time to see if if it's having an impact on the dropout rate, because that that's going to take three or four years. But in terms of programming, we can already see the increased activity and in programming.
And then another example, Diem is something we're doing with college students. And this is a program that week, actually, we didn't call it the president initiated this President Obama challenge the called the President's interfaith and community service campus challenge. And this is a program that the President sent a letter to every college president and said, I challenge you to set up interfaith and community service projects on your campus either to expand what you have doing or to initiate programs. And in here last year, this just started a year ago, we've had over 270 institutions of higher 70 270 colleges, that there were 108, that were going to liberal arts
colleges with less than 5000 students. And there are 40 of them that have more than 20,000 a broad spectrum of institutions across the country that have initiated these programs. And they range all the way from where students like there's a project here in Chicago, that is the bridges is taking the leadership on the making it happen with students from Trinity Christian College, working with Muslim organizations here in Chicago, and and they've been doing a project that had to do with cleaning up the trail and working together, where they're interacting in and doing a service project, but also sharing something that's really important to tell us a little bit about this
project that you mentioned that we're working together on Yeah, well, so this
This is a just an excellent example of the kind of thing that's, that's happening across the country where the Trinity Christian college president, Steve timmermans, received an invitation like 5000 other presidents did. And he
organized a partnership was organized between then himself and in Muslim organizations here in the Chicago area. And it's making it possible then for students from both, in both cases, the two be together to work on a common activity, somewhat, unlike what's happened in many institutions, then the leadership of these organizations, including the president of the college, and have been involved in and actually help the students to participate in so Americans are getting involved. They're accepting this invitation and they're getting involved with this program. And already for next year, we have 130 new institutions that have said that they want to join the the others the
270, that participated last year, so so it's a it's a growing, we're already well over 5% of American colleges, that are saying, This is part of what it means to have a college program to to educate college students is interfaith working
with community service. Now this program is started with Obama. That's correct. Now, if he will it still continue, if he doesn't get reelected, or if he obviously, he stays, it stays, but does it does it disappear? Then if he doesn't get elected?
It is his program. I, it's my dream, that that is that it's a, that it's something that now people will see, well, this is this is worth continuing that this and and it'll be regardless of the president if president obama is not elected, or if if he's after four years, that the what he's done is said is made it evident that this is the kind of thing that's going to bring this discussion with people who are would not necessarily otherwise talk to each other. Now, the doctor Ken, these organizations in Chicago, they have a particular name to me tab or something. That's, that's correct, which is actually the first letter of the various organizations that are working together
with college students as part of the President's interfaith and community service, campus challenge. And it was really the president of Trinity Christian College, Stephen timmermans. And then Dr. Abdel L. Elsa dig, who brought together these Muslims groups the mass and and I see na, and the Arab Spring for Syria and the bridges organization, were joined together with the with the college, and students from both Muslim students then and the students from the college work together on the project to clean up a trail that and then to in the process, they share together about their faith and why that's important and what what it means to be working on something that's going to make the
community a better place and be very important for the community. So you mentioned mass acknowledge the Trinity, Trinity College, than the Arab Spring for Syria, on bridges, all of them were working together to clean up this is here in Chicago, this is here in Chicago. And it's an excellent example of the kind of thing that's been happening across the country and on campuses. Okay, we're gonna take a break there. And we'll be right back with more with Dr. Ken, here on the dean show. Everybody deep down, they believe that there is a God Yeah. And as much as they deny
it if God exists, and he does, if God says prophets, and he does if God reveals books, and he does, should he not tell me how to live my life? Doesn't that make sense?
They feel more secure and safe now, inside the religion of Islam than they ever felt out in the streets.
The best way to bring true profound happiness, true, profound peace, through profound tranquility, is by following the guidance that God has given.
See for yourself, what Islam has to say, because it really is the path to happiness and truth.
In life comes to you the truth and the attribute of the one who created you that he's one and alone, running this universe, that he doesn't become born, he doesn't die, he doesn't eat and then go to the bathroom. This is not God. problems here. Yeah, this This doesn't make sense. Who is Jesus worshipping? This is recorded in the gospels. But despite all of the other issues about the Gospels, we put those aside, we'll just say it's mentioned there that Jesus, worship God
Back here on the D show with Dr. Ken from the US Department of Education, and we've been taught, we've been talking about this department in particular, but there are also other agencies that are working to bring people together from other faith based organizations Is this right? Tell us about that. But that's exactly right. The President has,
in an executive order, set up work in departments of agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services. And all of in all these cases, their role is to help people and the community level in their churches and mosques and synagogues, and community organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs and Boy Scouts to work on the same agendas that those agencies have. So in HUD, there are efforts to increase the quality of life of people who are living in housing, public housing, and in federally subsidized housing, and Health and Human Services, their programs to help communities understand how they can benefit from federal programs, such as
children's health programs. And also they'll be programs to help explain what the Affordable Health Care Act means for for everyone that at the Department of Agriculture, one that in education we've actually worked with, they have a program to help provide food for students during the summer. And so mosque can get money that pays for the food, and then they prepare the food and make it available like a lunch program, because so many students that are in school, during the school year, that's their major source of food is while they're in school, and then during the summertime, they don't have a good source of food. So the President Obama has set these centers up in a whole range of
agencies, and, and all of us working together, we actually talk on the phone every day to share what we're doing and to collaborate so that we can work together to facilitate local work, and, and to facilitate faith based in in other community groups to be able to cooperate with government programs. Now, before we come to an end. So how can the people who want to get involved in their community they want to make the community a better safer place? How can they get involved contact where they get in touch with? Sure, as I as I just mentioned, we're all of us in contact. So it's possible that we can even if you have an interest that might be some someone might be particularly
interested in, in health. If you can contact us at the Department of Education, and we can help you find the place to go. An email can go to it's quite an easy
email address. It's
Ed ed.gov. govt forward slash, then Ed partners, Ed, p a r t n e r s, so
ed.gov forward slash Ed partners, or you can visit
that's our website.
So, so going there, let get you connected to see. And there, there's actually a link to all of the other agencies that are involved and you can move around, send an email to set ad [email protected] so it's just turned around, and [email protected] get us an email. Well, I'm really thankful that you are with us. So when do people get involved? They can the Muslims can meet the Christians in their community and other people of different faiths and they get to share their face and talk about the commonalities and other things that bring people together. Yeah, wonderful, beautiful tell you one thing comes to mind before we
Leave is just a beautiful quote, that Jesus had said, peace be upon him in the Gospel of Matthew 1916. Were one approached them and said, Good Master, what good thing can I do that I may have eternal life get to paradise, right? Yes. So he Jesus replies is Why do you call me good when there's none good, but the one God. So he says, and if one wants to enter into eternal life, one must keep the commandments. So then the man said, What are thee? Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt Honor thy father and mother, and thou shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. So isn't this, that's the catalyst to that loving your
neighbor like you love yourself? But exactly, yep.
That was a key. That's exactly right. And good way very much. Thanks for having me here at the show. Thank you very much. And thank you for tuning in to another episode here on the dean show, we had our special guest, Dr. Ken, from the US Department of Education, sharing with us how Muslims Christians are working together to make society to make the communities a better place.
Organizations such as Islamic circle of North America gain peace, Muslim American society and other Christian organizations and other faith based organizations that are working together to make communities better. And that is what our Dean is teaching us this beautiful way of life that was practiced by all the messengers of God teaches us to work towards making humanity a better place for all. And the beautiful thing is, when we're out there, we're getting involved. We get to know our neighbors, opportunities come up, to share the message of peace with the world, to help people understand us a little bit better to know that, hey, Muslims, are those who have submitted to the
will of God, we worship only one God, the Creator, not as Christian, and we love Jesus. And we get to share with our neighbors, letting them know that we care about all of mankind. And we love Jesus, that we believe that no Muslim is a Muslim unless he believes or she believes in Jesus, that he was one of the mightiest messengers of God, we get to share this because we're involved with our fellow neighbors and our colleagues. And they can see that we're not the Antichrist, that we love Christ, that we believe in Him, sharing with them, that we love his mother, Mary, who there's a whole chapter named after her in the Qur'an, did you know that? Many of them don't know that. So through
working together for a better tomorrow, and collaborating, sitting together, the bridges will be built, the walls will come down.
And this is what will make tomorrow a better place.
And people see that Muslims aren't the Antichrist. Muslims love Christ. That's right. No Muslim is a Muslim unless he believes in this mighty message of Jesus peace be upon him that he was one of the mightiest messengers of God. And he came with the same message as Moses, Noah, Abraham and the last and final messenger, Muhammad peace be upon them all. They came with the same message, worship the creator and not the creation, simple as that, and do good deeds, and do good deeds. And this is how we can get closer to the creator by doing these good deeds, making the communities better safer for all of mankind so we can live in peace, working together for a better tomorrow. Get involved, get
involved, if you like what we have to say, give us a call. If you have any other questions about the deen. If you want to learn more one 800 662 Islam, and we hope that you do good, you're being good. And you're developing yourself to be the best human being that you can be. And it's by God's game plan. And that's the best game plan. But to get that game plan, you got to ask for the game plan. So make sure every day that you're asking because when you ask yourself receive, asking God alone for the guidance, and we'll see you next time, peace