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Aboudiab speaks at Noon Rotary
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Growing up in Jerusalem, Daoud Aboudiab attended Catholic French schools in which some two-thirds of the students were Christian, the other third Muslim.  He was in the religious minority.
Speaking at McMinnville Noon Rotary on Thursday, he pleaded for a cross-cultural and inter-faith dialogue while denouncing religious and political extremists who falsely claim the sanction of their holy books.
“There is no faith, no set of moral values, no religion that could just that as an act of faith,” Aboudiab, a healthcare administrator in Pulaski and president of the Islamic Center of Columbia, said of the terrorist attacks on American citizens Sept. 11, 2001. 
He and his fellow Muslims in Columbia know what it is like so suffer from violence perpetrated in the name of religion. 
In 2007 that city’s mosque was firebombed by three men who told authorities they acted on behalf of the self-styled Christian Identity movement, whose racist theology claims that non-Caucasians and those not of European descent have no souls. 
“It was very clear in my mind this did not represent Christianity, that it did not represent any of Christ’s teachings in the Bible,” recalled Aboudiab, Palestinian by birth and a naturalized American citizen. He earned degrees at the University of Arkansas, where he met his future wife, Robin, the daughter of a United Methodist minister. The couple and their three children -- the oldest of which is a graduate of Nashville’s Lipscomb University -- make their home in Thompsons Station in Williamson County.
Aboudiab discussed the massacre of four Marines and a Navy petty officer in Chattanooga at the hands of a mentally disturbed gunman who came from a Muslim background.
Working with other inter-faith groups, worshippers at the Columbia mosque launched a fundraiser that set a goal of $20,000 for the benefit of the families of the five slain servicemen, Aboudiab later said in an interview recording for the WCPI “Focus” series. Within just a few days the effort had collected more than $21,000, all of which is being distributed to the survivors through a Chattanooga charitable trust, he noted.
The half-hour “Focus” conversation will air on public radio WCPI 91.3  tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. and again Friday at 1:10 a.m. 
Among other civic, business and religious activities, Aboudiab was the founder in 2013 of the Faith & Culture Center, based in Nashville, and now serves as president of the board of directors of the inter-faith nonprofit organization.