Indianapolis interfaith community remembers the man who brought them together
A lantern in the darkness.
A man who leaves behind a hole in his community that cannot be filled.
There were kind words and tears shed for Dr. Shahid Athar at his memorial service Monday. But there was one resounding sentiment that permeated the Masjid Al-Huda mosque in Fishers: Athar was an idealist without a mean bone in his body, one who envisioned the world as a place where people of all creeds could come together in harmony.
Athar died Saturday following a long battle with an illness. He was 73.
“His loss is a loss to the entire community,” said Dennis Sasso, the senior rabbi at the Congregation Beth-El Zedeck. “We lost a pillar of many communities.” . . . [Full text]
Dr. Shahid Athar receives Golden Hoosier Award
Dr. Shahid Athar, who has been an adviser to the Project from its inception, has received the state of Indiana’s Golden Hoosier Award.
Indiana has annually honoured selected senior citizens for their lifetime of service and commitment to their communities since 2008. The Golden Hoosier Award is considered one of the highest honours given by the State of Indiana to senior citizens.
Dr. Athar was nominated by Pastor Jerry Zehr and Razzi Nalim. The award citation states:
Dr. Shahid Athar serves his community as a volunteer physician for Indianapolis’s homeless, HIV patients and other individuals who may not be able to afford medical treatment. In addition, he serves as a board member for the Protection of Conscience Project, St. Vincent Ethical Committee, and the Islamic Medical Association of North America. Most notably, Dr. Athar is known for his advocacy of interfaith as a way to overcome terrorism and to help Hoosier Muslims deal with the negative fallout of the attacks on September 11, 2001. Dr. Athar is highly regarded among his peers and his community. Whether he is providing professional medical care for the needy, or presenting on interfaith, he always leads by example and with compassion for others. His generosity has left a lasting impression on Hoosiers of all faiths.
The term “Hoosier” means a resident of Indiana.