A film by NationSwell.

Leaders of a growing Muslim community in Memphis, Tennessee, wanted to build an Islamic center where they could gather not just to worship, but to host weddings and other parties; gather on weekends and holidays; house a day care for children; and have activities for the elderly. When they finally succeeded in purchasing a plot of land opposite a church, Dr. Bashir Shala, head of the board of trustees for the Memphis Islamic Center, expected hostility. "Memphis is the buckle of the Bible Belt," Shala says. Pastor Steve Stone of Heartsong Church, had something else in mind.

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  • marga

    the humility to seek counsel in the wisdom traditions- the spirit within- with 'n open heart, and having trust that 'the Good' will prevail

  • Eliane

    What inspired you about this video? Everything about it but most of all that each of us, each individual and the totality of us all are our own enemy, our own fear of reaching out to our brothers and sisters, yet given the opportunity to overcome this reluctance we all gain from it.

  • L Zanchi

    Break the barrier and you realise that we are one!!

  • Pat

    Everything! It is so wonderful to hear about Christianity as it is meant to be practiced.

  • Balam

    This is truly what the song of the heart is all about. Namaste to all beings.

  • Lila

    The reminder that we are one, to love your neighbour is to love yourself!

  • Brian

    Thanks Team. God is love...When there is peace and unity, there is power...annnnd that's all Folks :o)...Great one. Peace!

  • PK

    Wonderful to see more people knowing this: It's all the same chicken, different spices :-)

  • Elizabeth Kramer

    The fact that these people from very different faith backgrounds could become friends.

  • Teresa

    So amazing especially in this election year that people are keeping their minds and hearts open!

  • victoria fairbanks

    EVERYTHING. I just cried and cried from the joy and relief of it. I thank you so much . The tension in the world is nearly unbearable and this story is a light in my soul. I am Buddhist .... i don't think it matters what one is...it only matters to love and respect one another. Thank you

  • Betsy

    The power of God, he holds the answers!

  • Dale Askew

    love reaches beyond religion , true spirituality in action is beautiful to see.

  • Zinat Fazal

    This video brought tears to my eyes! Seeing God's people living in Peace! Just beautiful! Well done to all of you who gave an example that this is possible, to love and live in peace in our one beautiful world! May Allah (God ) bless you all!

  • Sheila Edwards

    It is beautiful when we can break through our fear to touch hearts

  • Deepak

    Beautiful . This is Humanity at it's best , love for a fellow human being .

  • Fr. Juan Romero

    What inspired me most: Striving with some success in "Bible Belt" toward interfaith cooperation among some children of Abraham: Moslems and Christians. This video was sent to many schoolmates of LASEMS.

  • Mary

    I almost didn't read this but I'm so happy I did. We have to have big hearts to know love, understanding, and compassion. We are not all that different if we just open our heart.

  • Lorna Stewart

    I was very inspired by this video and the courage of Steve Stone to open his heart and follow it. I am a Baha'i and in the writings of the faith I follow from Baha'u'llah it says "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens" and I truly believe this is where we each start healing a sick world.

  • Catherine Graham

    THIS is the America I am proud to call home. What a beautiful example of opening your heart and mind and look what happens! This is pure inspiration!!

  • Glen

    Recently in my travels I came across a bumper sticker that stated "I believe in a God to big to be confined one religion". What happened here I find very spiritually moving, that the people from this church opened their hearts to this Muslim community and did the true Christian thing, especially with what is going on today. If all religions would open their hearts like these people did the world would be a much more loving, caring and humane place to live. This is the kind of thing I would like to see make headlines in the national news, different religions may find it easier to open their minds and hearts to understand, there is more than one way to God. This was truly a beautiful thing!

  • Marilyn Warlick

    When we can access the gift of introspection and see we are part of the problem and solution, our hearts open to new possibilities to heal ourselves and one another in community. Thank you or this sharing.

  • Serena

    I shared this on Facebook. I don't have words for the gratitude I feel.

  • Don

    I echo most others' sentiments. The beauty of this brings tears to my eyes. This is my ideal vision of how everyone in the US should live their lives, and especially how I and other Christians should live our lives. The transformation of the one gentleman from distrust to embracing his Muslim neighbors was very, very nice to see.

  • John Henry Lee

    The willingness of human beings to look into their hearts and souls & question their beliefs and preconceived ideas. They didn't stop there, they then winnowed out what is real from that which is, in reality ,the made up stories that inhabit most people's minds. Stories that we sometimes confuse for reality. I applaud these brave & caring human beings. In the end that is what we all are, human beings wanting/needing love, hope, and acceptance. Lets celebrate this group of people who did much good by looking into themselves and doing the sometimes, hard, fearful, & tearful work of looking inside of themselves for that which is good, and then reaching a hand out in greeting.(acceptance) Here is to Love, Life, & laughter

  • Ted

    Beautiful. As one parishioner said - "I read the gospels, and figured out that it was a sickness in me that was the problem. What was going on in the world today, I was the problem!" That is true courage and honesty. The answer starts with the courage to look within, the honesty to see what is there, and the presence to act in love. It can hurt, but that is the way true growth happens. And that is what this world desperately needs, as shown in this video.

  • Karen MacNeil Hartmann

    The seamless way the community grew in love and acceptance. I love the blood donor drive. Such incredible symbolism!

  • Lisa Rosenkoetter

    The love and respect for each other. It's beautiful to see.

  • Lyn

    The courage to look within. The humanity to reach out. The understanding that grew from one small step. The rich community that arises from loving acceptance of one another.

  • Paul

    Love is a universal emotion. It wears many masks in many cultures and in many worlds. It creates and destroys equally, but in the hands of the right minded and right spirited it builds bridges of indestructible truth and acceptance.

  • daniela

    I just hope muslims understand your love. Usually love, in the Middle East and muslim societies is a sign of weakness.

  • Abha

    Absolutely beautiful. All you need is love and all sickness gets conquered. Yes, we all need to live by this example and wish that every one in America can see this inspiring video. We waste so much energy in building walls around us.

  • Ed

    This is what true religion ought to be. It is bringing people together in peace by loving then ...not dividing us out of religious diffetence

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    this is what we need, we are all human and not so different. We all want to be loved, accepted and heard. Thank you Pastor Steve for understanding and love! May your example shine the way for those in fear.

  • Chris

    What a wonderful and uplifting display of love and acceptance! Thank you for sharing this. And best wishes for love and peace to MIC and Heartsong and the faithful to whom they minister.

  • cheryl

    This video reinforced the fact that we are all fundamentally the same regardless of faith, ethnicity, language or any other differences. We all fare much better as "we" versus "us" and "them".

  • Edward

    Shedding ignorance can lead to greater understanding. Learn to be accepting of others.

  • Lily Yeh

    What a beautiful story! The world needs to learn from it. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Liesbeth Klein Haneveld

    This brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful! One man stood up and the whole situation changed. We need more people like that!

  • Jeda Ogaga

    This real love,God,Allah,is great.Muslim,christian,do we have any difference?Heart-song Church got it right.The Muslim worshipers whose Mosque is opposite the church got it right.In the world, we are only two people,a man and a woman.I am a [Nigerian]Let the whole Muslims and Christians embraced what happened in Memphis.Pastor Steve Stone,you must write a book about it. If I can get the means; I will to promote it world wide.

  • David Cole

    The Heartsong Church is doing what many churches would do. However, this does not recognize the willingness to kill any person that does not convert to the Muslim religion. A welcome to a neighbor that any Christian would do is a one sided effort until the Imans of the Muslim Faith announce an end to the belief that all others are infidels and can be killed!!!!

  • Bradley

    To see and hear human beings the way they were meant to be seen and heard; loving and being kind and generous to one another. This had me in happy tears😍

  • Mala Tandan

    This is the way the world was meant to be ...who changed it???

  • Derek

    The openness, take action, call to prayer leading to sharing, love, friendship. The revelation of who's the problem, what's the problem

  • Kate Halliday

    I'm really touched by the courage these communities show, in looking inside themselves for the solution to hatred and discord. I wish everyone in the US could see the part of this video where the brave man says "I realized that I am sick"..... By which he means soul sick, from the poisoning effects of pre-judgements and fear. This man, who looks so "ordinary", has an extraordinary willingness to sit with his own discomfort, and learn from it. Thanks for this deeply inspiring video!

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  • Read more about The Mosque Across the Street.
  • Take a look at more stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create positive change in their communities.
  • The next time you see an incident of discrimination or bullying, be an ally.

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