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Religious Stereotypes

Skillsets to Overcome Religious Bigotry

Skillsets to Overcome Religious Bigotry

by Ariella Amit

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few years ago, I came across a post encouraging Los Angeles youth to apply for membership on an Interfaith Council. I followed the link to the website reluctantly and began reading about the goals of the council. By the end of my interfaith research, I realized that being a privileged, white Jew living in Los Angeles, I have little exposure to different religions at all.

The Challenge of ISIS in America:  Perspectives of Interfaith Leaders and Peacebuilders

A complex history of religious, political, and ethnically based conflict has now thrust the world into a wrenching conversation around the significance of a terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (known by other acronyms such as ISIL or ISIS or simply IS). Here in the U.S., this conversation has broadened to a more volatile discussion around religion, secularization, Islam and human rights.

Where the Anti-Muslim Path Leads

“If I were Muslim, I’d kill myself.”

No, that’s not what was said.  It was: “If I looked like him, I’d kill myself.”

The speaker was my favorite uncle, commenting on an overweight man, across a hotel pool.  Considering how much self-talk I had engaged in to convince myself to be seen in a swimsuit, visiting my California relatives, I absorbed this pronouncement in shame and silence, trying desperately to hold onto shreds of self-worth.

A Safe Place to Address Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Fears

Several years ago I joined a small group of concerned people responding to a growing interest in appreciating and respecting the faith traditions of humankind. We developed home-based educational programs for small groups of interested people who know little if anything about religions other than their own. It began informally, spread by word of mouth, and now hundreds of workshops have been held.