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Religious Hatred/Violence

Responding to Religiously Motivated Hate Crimes

Responding to Religiously Motivated Hate Crimes

by Bud Heckman

It has long been said by clever rabbis of lore that our “words make worlds.” That simple idea can be taken many ways and be to our detriment and to our benefit.

Let’s Multiply the Love

Let’s Multiply the Love

by Sister Zeph

I was lying down, dreaming of a world where there is no hate; where everyone is smiling; where people dance in the roads with joy. A world where there is respect and equality for all. Then, suddenly, my younger sister Rahat’s phone began to ring.

Meditating on the Buddha in the Midst of Buddhist Terror

Meditating on the Buddha in the Midst of Buddhist Terror

by Richard Reoch

The Buddha was no stranger to genocide. His own people, the Sakyas, were the victims of mass slaughter. One of the final acts of his life, recounted in the opening verses of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, was to refuse a request to give his blessing to an act of genocide.

Courage from the Other Side

Courage from the Other Side

by Johnny Martin

I woke up on an early June morning last summer with plans to attend the ‘Anti-Sharia Protest’ event in Paradise Valley, about 30 miles from my home in Mesa, Arizona. There had been a lot of media attention in the days leading up to the demonstration, which was being called an “Islamophobic hate rally”

Transforming Our Differences

Transforming Our Differences

by Tahil Sharma

This past year felt like a constant uphill battle. I never realized the degree to which my friends, colleagues, and I would be fighting to keep justice and equity afloat in a world that seems to be increasingly sinking into darkness.

All I Have Is a Voice

All I Have Is a Voice

by Marcus Braybrooke

The row over reading verses of the Qur’an in a Cathedral in Scotland has, I gather, reached across the Atlantic. Certainly the Cathedral has had a lot of abusive online messages from the U.S.A. During an Epiphany service at the Cathedral a Muslim law student was invited to read the Qur’anic account of the birth of Jesus, which also says, as Muslims believe, that Jesus was a prophet but not divine.

Brexit and the Interfaith Community

Brexit and the Interfaith Community

by Marcus Braybrooke

Four weeks ago, as I write at the end of July, I turned on my radio at 2:00 a.m. and heard the prediction that Brexit had won. It was hard to go back to sleep! For those who do not understand what Brexit means – and no one in Britain seems to – it was the vote in the June referendum for Britain to leave the European Union.

Muslims for Progressive Values Takes on Wahhabism

One day she woke up and said to herself, “Enough is enough.”

Serve2Unite Takes on Violence Fearlessly

“We defy hate and violence with peace and love. We bring people together. We celebrate the positive global human qualities that everyone shares, and no one can stop us.”

A Bold Vision

Until recently becoming the executive director of Religions for Peace-USA, Robert Montgomery directed the Faith and Culture Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Its mission is to build community and work to foster greater understanding and appreciation of Middle Tennessee’s diverse faith traditions and cultures. Its vision is to transform its local community into one where all people embrace humility, understanding, respect, empathy, and compassion.

What is Islamophobia?

The following essay is reprinted from the introduction to a new Islamophobia Guidebook in the making. You can download the whole Guidebook here today, but it is still being assembled, so a download next month might be even better. Here is what the book sets out to do:

The History of American Pluralism

This speech was delivered at a White House gathering celebrating and protecting “America’s Tradition of Religious Pluralism.” The speaker was Vanita Gupta, the head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Responding to Global Violence in Montgomery County, Maryland

The following letter was sent last month to local leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland. It came from Rev. Mansfield Kaseman, the Interfaith Community Liaison of the Office of Community Partnerships. OCP is a unique government-sponsored interfaith program that will be profiled in the January TIO.

What Does Religious Freedom Really Mean?

Whenever I hear some of my fellow Christians talk about “religious freedom,” I think of that line from “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

What Losing Your Religious Freedom Actually Looks Like

A district court in Ethiopia has charged six members of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) with inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials and spreading hatred after it surfaced in the media that official complaints were made to the government about increasing persecution of Christians in a Muslim-dominated area in the south of the country.

Apocalyptic Prophecy: Revelation & the Rapture – 2

This is part two of Isabella Price’s reflections on apocalyptic prophecy. Go here to read part one.

Dangers of Legitimizing Bigotry

The origin of the word bigot dates as far back as 1598 and had a sense of “religious hypocrite.” While the story may be fictional, Wikipedia says “the Normans were first called bigots, when their Duke Rollo, who when receiving Gisla, daughter of King Charles, in marriage, and with her the investiture of the dukedom, refused to kiss the king’s foot in token of subjection – unless the king would hold it out for that specific purpose.

Countering Islamophobia: A Jewish Testimony

In the summer of 2010, as the American midterm election season was heating up, one of the most controversial subjects of debate was the planned construction of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. Misleadingly dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” it became the focus of an ugly campaign to impugn the motives of those behind the Park 51 project, especially Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Islamophobic hysteria, playing on the pain of 9/11, was generated by the project’s critics as part of a calculated strategy to scare voters into voting for right-wing candidates in the November elections. This political aim was confirmed when the propaganda campaign was abruptly terminated following Election Day.

Countering Theologies of Fear

Two years ago I sat in a room crowded with 300 angry people and 700 more outside shouting, and I nervously whispered, “I’ve never been in a room where I’ve felt so much white Christian rage.”eMy colleague, a pastor from Pulaski, Tennessee, nodded as I straightened up in my chair.

Muslim-Christian Dialogue is for the Birds

Twenty fifteen is a year for remembering massacre. This past July marked the twentieth summer since the summary executions in the municipality and town of Srebrenica, where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims – mostly men and boys – were murdered during the Bosnian war. And April of 2015 marked a hundred years since the beginning of the episodic murders of over 800,000 Armenians. When one considers 8,000 Muslims, or 800,000 Armenians, the numbers confound any sensibility of moral trespass.