October 2011

Each month TIO shares a few of the more interesting interfaith stories from recent news.

Remembering 9/11
A Personal Reflection
Diana Eck, Pluralism Project Fall 2011 E-Newsletter, October 2, 2011

“The morning of 9/11/2001 was startlingly beautiful. We had been House Masters at Lowell House for just two years. It was the beginning of term. When we heard a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, we rushed to the TV in the junior common room.  And as we stood there with a growing number of students, the second plane hit.  Our bewilderment and, yes, our fear grew as we learned of other planes, hijacked, in the air. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the towers fall….” [Read more…]

Remembering 9/11 Across the Country
Catalog Of Commemorative Events For 9/11
Pluralism Project Fall 2011 E-Newsletter, October 2, 2011

Faith Leaders Denounce Greed at Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street Protesters March Golden Calf around Zuccotti Square
Helen Kennedy, New York Daily News, October 10, 2011

In an inspired bit of theater, the Occupy Wall Street protesters on Sunday paraded a shiny effigy of the Biblical Golden Calf modeled after the iconic Bowling Green bull statue… "It's a false idol, just as much as the Wall Street bull has been a false idol for so many of us for so long," said protester Ed Needham… The golden calf, labeled Greed, was marched around Zuccotti Square on Day 23 of the Occupy Wall Street protest by a group of clergy who then held an interfaith prayer session. [Read More…]

Old Promises Fail to Quell Bigotry in Schoolbooks
Saudis Export Anti-Christian and Anti-Jewish Textbooks Across The World: Report
Charles Lewis, National Post, September 28, 2011

… Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe, says a new report… Because of the Saudis’ great oil wealth, it is able to disseminate its textbooks far and wide,..[Read more…]

Religious Freedom Prevails In Tennessee
A Tale of One Mosque and Two News Stories
Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Huffington Post, October 10, 2011

Religious Freedom Prevails in Tennessee

This is the tale of one city, one Islamic Center and two news stories. An iconic photo, taken a year and a half ago, represents the first story: a plywood sign announcing "Future Site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro," spray painted over with the words, "Not Welcome." That story put the town on the map.  CNN produced a 43-minute documentary that aired this past April… The second story, garnering almost no national attention, is represented by a picture taken last week of 10 individuals with shovels, a classic American groundbreaking scene…  The stories belong together and they deserve to be widely told. [Read more…]

Canada Moves to Protect Religious Freedom
What can $5 million do for religious freedom?
Toronto Star, October 7, 2011

“Freedom of conscience and religion” is the first of the fundamental freedoms spelled out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Before freedom of opinion, assembly and association comes religion. So what could be wrong with Ottawa setting up an office specifically designed to promote it around the world? [Read more ...]

Taking a Stand Against Intolerance
URI's "Intolerance Ends with Me" Campaign Extended
United Religions Initiative, San Francisco, October 5, 2011

On September 1, 2011, United Religions Initiative invited people around the world to sign a pledge to take action against intolerance in their communities. With responses still coming in from more than 50 countries, URI is extending the campaign until November 16, the International Day for Tolerance. The pledge site provides a list of suggested actions people can take to build trust among different groups in their communities and speak out against bigotry.

Oasis of Peace Proves What Is Possible
Interfaith Village in Israel
Kim Lawton, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, September 23, 2011

Nestled in the hills between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is a small village called the Oasis of Peace—in Hebrew, Neve Shalom, and in Arabic, Wahat al-Salam. While the Middle East conflict continues to churn all around, here they are trying to create a different reality, one that says Israelis and Arabs can live side-by-side in peace… [Read more ...]

Youth Planners Focus on Hope and Friendship
Children's Interfaith Festival Draws a Crowd
Kim Surkan, Mt. Airy Patch, September 26, 2011

The festival is the first of its kind, according to organizers. The Philadelphia Interfaith Children and Youth Festival (PICYF) returned for a second year to the New Covenant Church campus last weekend for a two-day celebration of many diverse faith traditions… The theme was "Choosing Hope." Hundreds of people turned out to eat food, listen to music, and have fun while learning about a variety of faith traditions… [Read more…]

Interfaith Campaign supports People with Disabilities
NCC and a wide array of interfaith religious groups urge employment of persons with disabilities
NCC News Service, September 23, 2011

The employment of persons with disabilities is a "central focus" of ecumenical and interfaith religious groups, and the National Council of Churches today urged advocates to renew their energies to support the right of all Americans to work. [Read more ...]

Kudos to Corporate Responsibility Pioneers
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Celebrates Four Decades of Action
MarketWatch, September 19, 2011

After a year of reflection and renewal, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a capstone event titled "Taking Stock: Shaping a New Age in Corporate Responsibility" this Thursday, 9/22, at its annual event at Bridgewaters at the South Street Seaport in NYC. ICCR first formed in 1971 as a faith-based shareholder coalition in opposition to the racist policy of apartheid in South Africa. Faith organizations with investments via pension and mission funds chose to exercise their voice as shareholders to protest major U.S. corporations doing business in South Africa. As a result, ICCR is credited as a pioneer in shareholder advocacy and for helping to found the broader movement of corporate responsibility [Read more…]