University of Wisconsin–Madison

The 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions

More info More

The Weekly Fellows’ Post

Interfaith Conversations Clear Misconceptions – Ufaira Shaik

“Are you religious?” I’m asked with a pointed look towards my headscarf. There’s a pregnant pause following that loaded question. The question is meant innocently, but suddenly I’m on guard. I must phrase my response delicately, attending to the nuances of implication. What do you mean by ‘religious’? I wonder before responding. I wait for that quiet “oh” that ends that topic of conversation. It’s full of insinuations, that one word. It makes me question, in our secular society, is it okay for us to state that we are religious, or must we qualify it in fear of others misconstruing it as a kind of fanaticism? Suddenly, I realize my shoulders are too stiff and I forcefully drop the defensive barriers that I had unconsciously raised when discussing my personal level of adherence to my faith.

Read more

Interfaith Fellows' Blog Posts

The Center in the News