‘Three Wise Guys’ talk faith to Valencia students


Willie J. Allen Jr.

WMFE’s Friends talking faith and the Peace and Justice Institute work together on a past event on Valencia College East. / WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.

The Performing Arts Center at Valencia College east campus was filled with an excited crowd, anxiously waiting for the Friends Talking Faith event to begin.

This speaker series event by 90.7 WMFE, provided some insight and valuable information on the current times of turbulence with the presence of a minister, rabbi and an imam known as ‘The Three Wise Guys,’ as well as Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute.

During the beginning of the event; Imam Muhamad Musri, Rabbi Steven Engel, Rev. Bryan Fulwider and Peace and Justice coordinator Rachel Allen talked about how to cope with the current times of turbulence and dealing with difficult situations.

What happens to a lot of people is that there is a feeling of hopelessness or anxiety,” Rachel Allen said about the current issues in the world.

“Religion always plays that significant role in calming the waters and bringing down the fears,” added Musri.

Hot topics that were covered during this event were the violence in society and on college campuses. Guest speaker Omar Abdul-Hafiz; a Valencia 2012 alumni and UCF graduate, shared his experiences on getting bullied by people of all ages because he is Muslim.  

“The best way to react to that is by positive responses; violence is never the answer,” Abdul-Hafiz said.   

Engel spoke of his disgust when listening to Abdul-Hafiz’s story, on being called a “terrorist” based on his appearance by a co-worker.

“As a Jew, when I hear something like that, it makes me want to crawl out of my skin, and say here, they are doing to Muslims the same things they were doing to Jews,” Engel said.

Valencia student Lora Abdulhak also spoke to the Three Wise Guys about the current situation in her hometown in Syria.

“The people that are leaving, are leaving a war, they’re leaving daily terror, seeking refuge,” Abdulhak said. “I have heard hurtful and ignorant comments, about how we should deny them because we don’t know whether they’re terrorists or not,”

Fulwider also offered insight on the Syrian refugee situation.

“The idea to reject someone because of where they’re coming from is an absurd notion,” Fulwider said. “It is the core of the Christian message, that we treat others as we would treat Jesus.”

Despite everyone involved having certain religious differences, the overall theme and message from the evening was shared by all. 

“We believe in taking every moment to try to make the world better, to try to improve the world.” Engel said.

“The Peace and Justice Institute is committed to the message that we are not incapable of making change, and so the mission is to make the world a better place” Allen added.

Tune in every Tuesday at 6:30PM on 90.7 WMFE FM Orlando. You will listen to “Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys,” as they communicate across religious lines in a healthy and respectful way.