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Preparing for Religiously Motivated Disaster

Preparing for Religiously Motivated Disaster

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

On Sunday, September 10, 2006, a day before the fifth-and-still-painful anniversary of 9/11, a group of some 75 angry demonstrators showed up – with a city permit – outside the King Fahad Mosque of Culver City…

Interfaith Resistance

Interfaith Resistance

by Eboo Patel

No doubt American presidents play a significant role in articulating the character of the nation by offering new definitions of its key symbols.

Reimagining the "White Man's Burden"

Reimagining the "White Man's Burden"

by Maha Elgenaidi

After decades of leading a national nonprofit that counters bigotry through education, I am now firmly convinced that we need new partners to overcome racism, Islamophobia, and exclusivist thinking in our nation.

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.

Peacemaking with "the Other"

Peacemaking with "the Other"

by Paul Chaffee

What does living life as an ‘interfaith activist’ mean? Millions have joined the cause in recent months, so we can well ask ourselves: What do interfaith activists share in common within our own communities and in the world? A quick, simplistic answer might be that all of us are striving towards peacemaking with ‘the other.’

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:

Winter Light

Bittersweet may be the best word for the final months of 2015. The international gathering of leaders in Paris took climate change more seriously than ever before, a major step forward in terms of what is required. But the climate agreements were punctuated by violent massacres in Paris and San Bernardino and by the ongoing chaos in the Middle East, which has never been more toxic.

Local Communities Affirm Solidarity with Muslim Neighbors

Last month, December 2015, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, with Donald Trump threatening to close American borders to Muslims, and increasing incidents of Islamophobic violence, the major media barely noticed one of the most important stories.

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.

Religions for Peace USA at the Parliament

The Parliament of the World Religions gathers in Salt Lake City, Utah this October 15th-19th, and many of RfP USA’s religious communities will be presenting their work. Religions for Peace USA will be featured on two panels, we hope to see you there supporting our work. Don’t miss this chance to learn more and connect!

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.

Talking about Disgraced

One of the great things about this play is it’s going to lead to fantastic post-theater discussions and arguments

Our Muslim Neighbor

Creating a Community of Inclusion in Middle Tennessee Join us for this unique opportunity to learn from leading authorities on Islamophobia, community, and welcoming our Muslim neighbor. To register for this conference please visit: https://faithandculturecenter.org/fall-conference/

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.

“Heartbeat” Brings Israeli-Palestinian Music to Tennessee

What is truly amazing about Heartbeat is not their music. It is the way they make their music. A group of ten 14-22 year olds, all of them but one an Israeli citizen, often proclaim that their music is simply a medium for a deeper message. Clearly inspired by a desire to love across boundaries of race, religion and ethnicity, the members proudly observe that what they are doing is anathema in many of their home communities. They are embracing the other in a way that is both constructive and creative.

Please, Don’t Talk to Me about Islamophobia!

I will tell you what happened to me yesterday. In the morning, I went to my French class as usual. As soon as I entered the classroom, I felt that something was wrong with me. My students were worried when they saw me looking so pale. I managed to teach class for an hour and a half until the break. By then, I really felt unwell. I had no more energy. I excused myself, telling the class that I could not continue and that I must return home. As my students were leaving, a few came over to me and said that maybe it was unwise for me to be driving, as they knew that I had to travel 30 kilometres.

Art’s Role in the Interfaith Movement

As a college student studying art history and Jewish literature, I am particularly interested in how language and art create the stories that we tell about culture, community, and faith. Words and images cannot exist in a vacuum; almost anything we create is influenced by where we are, who we are surrounded by, and what ideas we hold.

Collective Impact and Islamophobia

I was first introduced to Middle Tennessee two years ago when I attended a community meeting addressing hate crimes against Muslims. What was planned to be a small group of concerned citizens turned out to be a behemoth of a gathering: more than 1,000 protestors arrived from neighboring states and beyond, led by Islamophobe Pamela Geller and her Act! for America.