Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is the executive director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and professor of Islamic and religious studies at Nazareth College. He also holds the IIIT Chair in Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College. He was the imam of the Islamic Center of Rochester, Inc. until 2007. Dr. Shafiq holds a Ph.D. from Temple University, and a M.A. and B.A. from the University of Peshawar.
Dr. Shafiq has written more than 40 articles and several books, including Interfaith Dialogue: A Guide for Muslims (International Institute of Islamic Thought: second edition 2012). His article addressing the level of dialogue between different interfaith groups in the Rochester area, "Abrahamic Faiths: Models of Interfaith Dialogue in the United States (A Case Study of Rochester, New York)" was published in Peace-Building By, Between, and Beyond Muslims and Evangelical Christians, edited by Mohammed Abu-Nimer and David Augsburger, Lexington Books, 2009.
His work promoting interfaith dialogue was recognized at Doha International Interfaith Conference April 25-27, 2013. He has led intra-faith and interfaith leadership training workshops in Chad, Niger, Indonesia, Belgium, and other parts of the world.
He organized an international symposium, Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Sacred Texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Uniting and Dividing Humanity June 23-25, 2013. The symposium brought together 150 scholars from around the world to enhance the work of interfaith, justice and peace, and document areas of common interest between the three communities.
The Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue promotes scholarship and encourages strategies for living peacefully in a religiously diverse world. This vision is realized through dialogue, education, and community-building efforts.
Every religion demands that we alleviate suffering. Every religion dreams of a better world. Yet each religion offers different means to attain these goals. The Hickey Center believes that individuals can learn from each other, understand each other, and work together in a respectful way for the common good.
The Hickey Center includes individuals who are diverse in religion, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, and education. The common denominator is a desire to develop skills to clarify and improve individual and community-wide communications on matters of religion, faith, and spirituality; to understand individual and communal faiths; to establish methodology proper to our goals; and to develop the capacity for living in a pluralistic world.
We seek to understand and develop research tools, knowledge, and skills to benefit our common humanity.
Our goals are:
To establish an environment conducive to understanding the diversity of faiths in our world and community.
To communicate the skills necessary for people of diverse faiths to live together in peace and justice.
To provide educational resources to aid in establishing an environment of understanding and equality.
To teach individuals, communities and institutions how to live and communicate more effectively with those from other religions and faith backgrounds.