Interfaith activist Dr. Eboo Patel, from Chicago, Illinois, and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, has been awarded the 2012 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize:
Dr. Eboo Patel is a man of peace in a time of violence. At a time when a Muslim name is automatically equated with terrorism and Islam itself is misunderstood, this young Muslim Indian-American shows the power of interfaith dialogue. This month he was honoured in New York with the 2012 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, established by Hofstra University. Although young, Dr. Patel has a formidable resume. He holds a doctorate in the Sociology of Religion from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the founder and president of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core and is also on President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by the US News & World Report in 2009.
Named after the founder of Sikhism, the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, awarded every two years, was established at New York’s Hofstra University and acknowledges Guru Nanak’s legacy in fostering interfaith cohesion to “enhance awareness of the critical role of religious dialogue in pursuit of peace”:
The Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize was established with a gift from the family of Sardar Ishar Singh Bindra and Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra, prominent Sikh-Americans living in Brookville, New York. In September 2000, the Bindra family endowed the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies at Hofstra University in honor of the family’s matriarch.
Previous recipients of the award include the Dalai Lama in 2008 and Rabbi Arthur Schneier in 2010.