The United Muslim/ Christian Forum (UMCF) is dedicated to the propagation of positive relationships between all people who believe in Almighty God, recognize their responsibility to do good deeds and promote human compassion, and fear the consequences of ignoring the cries of the weak and oppressed people of the world. UMCF recognizes that Muslims and Christians make up over half the world’s population and must join together to stand up against the atrocities of war, injustice and suffering of the oppressed.
Gregory and Maleika Jones are the UMCF representatives in Anchorage, Alaska. They recalled, “From the moment we stepped foot on Alaskan soil nine years ago, we felt the warm and inviting vibes from the community. Our taxi driver was a Somalian Muslim who invited us to his Masjid and the lady at the front desk of our hotel invited us to her church the very first day. We were able to visit both places.”
Malieka and Gregory have participated in many outreach programs and community events in order to bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians by sharing views on a topic that is not easily talked about: the similarities between Muslims and Christians that far outweigh the differences.
An example of such dialogue happened in February, when the couple was invited to speak at a program called “We are American Muslims” at the Unitarian Church.
After they had been speaking for about 45 minutes, a gentleman stood up and said, “First of all, we as Christians reject Jesus being the son of God, secondly,…we are closer to you than the thin line you spoke about with the Christian King Najashi, who protected the Muslims from being persecuted by other people.”
The couple often set up a table in the mall, displaying a banner which reads, “United Muslim /Christian Forum”. People often walked past the table from a distance, read the banner and would give a warm smile, or occasionally stop and have a conversation. Last year during the Presidential debate, the increased fear-mongering and accusations being directed towards Muslims left people feeling insecure and confused. One lady stopped by the table and shared her thoughts, “I am so happy you are brave enough to stand out here, because after watching the negativity on the news about Muslims, my heart was unsettled.” Another lady came to the table, read the sign and started crying. She said,”Thank you for this, I prayed for this, thank you!”
Greg and Maleika explained that the positive support is ongoing. Mankind is the family of Almighty God; we must work hard to foster and build meaningful relationships that will inspire others to adopt a proactive role in the betterment of society.