Utah Case Studies in Civil Dialogue

Case Study 1: Bozniaks and Mormons

Jasna Zahirovic from The Islamic Society of Bosniaks in Utah at Maryam Mosque brought Bozniak youth to the dialogue and service project with the Latter-day Saint youth. Below she describes her dialogue with  Sheldon Mortensen from the Bishop’s Storehouse at Welfare Square.

Jasna's View

Bringing together youth from the LDS and Muslim communities was a great experience. We discovered that we have more similarities than differences. 

The Bosnian American Muslims are unique. While Bosnia is located in southeast Europe, our culture is western, but our religion is eastern. In other words, our culture and religion emerged from two very different ways of life. We often struggle with our identity because of the drastic differences within our culture and religion.  

When I met Sheldon from the LDS community, I discovered many things that we had in common. We both aim to live a modest lifestyle, and we both refrain from consuming alcohol and gambling, among other things. We discussed issues in our communities and asked one another how we deal with them. We discovered that many of our concerns overlap: we both worry about the youth and how to keep them interested in religion.  In a time where the overall culture in the United States is moving away from religion, it can be difficult to keep the younger generation engaged.

 It was a pleasure getting to know our LDS friends and discovering the similarities between us.

See more about the experience on the Religious Freedom Institute’s website. 


On your own paper, respond to this question:

  • The purpose of civil dialogue is to seek understanding. What understanding did Jasna gain about the Latter-day Saint community while talking to Sheldon?


Learn more about how to promote the 3Rs — rights, responsibility, respect — in your school and community.