Some news articles we find interesting….
Articles outlining the faith community’s response to possible attack on Syria:
Pax Christi International: “Dialogue is the only way towards an end of violence in Syria”
Sojourners – Faith in Action for Social Justice: http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/08/29/syria-we-must-use-moral-compass-guide-our-moral-outrage
Presbyterians (PCUSA): Stated Clerk issues statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria
Rapid Worldwide growth for Jewish-Muslim Alliance
Like the First Zionist Congress, a Swiss hotel was where 30-year Ilja Sichrovsky’s vision for the Jewish future took off. As an international development student in Vienna, Sichrovsky spent the better part of his 20s touring the world. From Mexico to Scotland, the Berlin-born activist developed a passion for international projects and networking.
In 2007, Sichrovsky participated in Harvard University’s Model United Nations conference. There, in a Geneva hotel room, he stumbled upon a new life path.
“A Muslim member of the Pakistani delegation asked if I was a Jew, and told me I was the first Jew he had met,” Sichrovsky recalled. “We were elite and well-read, but quickly realized we knew nothing about each other. After determining we were safe, we spent the whole night learning about each other.”
Following the encounter, Sichrovsky convened like-minded peers to change the state of Jewish-Muslim relations…..
“Sometimes this work feels like a Google Maps system where the zoom feature is broken,” Sichrovsky said. “You go in and out, and in and out, constantly, and you’re not always in control.”
Muslim Clerics Visit Nazi Death Camp
Imams from the US and several Muslim countries are touring Poland this week to learn more about European Jewry. Thirteen imams from Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bosnia and other Muslim lands, along with five American imams, visited the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw on Monday.
For Sikhs and Muslims, fear after a terror attack…
As suspicion and profiling flooded news and social media, we heard reports of fear and hate in public spaces, including at least two violent hate crimes. Last Monday in the Bronx,Abdullah Faruque was beaten by a group of men who cursed at him and called him an Arab. On Tuesday, passengers on a plane headed to Chicago from Logan Airport were de-boarded because some expressed concern after overhearing them speak Arabic. On Wednesday, Palestinian woman Heba Abolaban was punched by a man she say screamed, ”‘F— you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions!”
Will the new Pope be good for the Jews?
Quite a lot of Jewish ink has been spilled over the last few weeks analyzing the pontificate of the now retired Benedict XVI, prognosticating on who might be his successor, and, once announced, reporting every detail of Francis’ history with the Jewish community. This Jewish interest with the papacy must be seen in light of the history of Jewish-Christian relations over the centuries, and, more recently, both ongoing changes in Roman Catholic Church and the specific actions and statements of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI…..
Franklin Roosevelt enjoyed the overwhelming support of American Jews during his presidency, and the reasons are clear. In his three-plus terms from 1933 to 1945, he led the war against Hitler, supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine, appointed a Jew to the Supreme Court, chose another to be his secretary of the Treasury and surrounded himself with Jewish advisers who helped shape the laws that revolutionized the role of government in American life — what some critics sneeringly called the “Jew Deal.” Then, of course, there was Eleanor Roosevelt, whose concern for minorities fused the bond even tighter. When Roosevelt died in 1945, the Rabbinical Assembly of America described him, almost supernaturally, as an “immortal leader of humanity and a peerless servant of God.”
Attack on Christians in Egypt Comes After a Pledge
Police officers firing tear gas joined with a rock-throwing crowd fighting a group of Christian mourners Sunday in a battle that escalated into an attack on Egypt’s main Coptic Christian Cathedral that lasted for hours. It was the third day of an outburst of sectarian violence that is testing the pledges of Egypt’s Islamist president to protect the country’s Christian minority. By nightfall, at least one person had died from the day’s clashes, bringing the weekend’s death toll to six.
How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect
Pope Appeals for More Interreligious Dialogue
Building a Groundswell, Lighting Up the Network
When a dozen twenty-somethings gathered in my tiny living room in the fall of 2010, vexed about the firestorm of protest against Park 51, an Islamic center planned in Manhattan known as “the Ground Zero Mosque,” we had no idea that we were planting the seed for a movement.
Obama’s wise choice for the White House’s faith office
Largely lost last week in news about the election of Pope Francis and the ongoing wrangling around the budget was the announcement that President Obama had appointed Melissa Rogers as the new director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Signs of the End of the Christian Church as We Have Known It
from Spirituality and Practice website- reviewing Diana Butler Bass’s new book, Christianity After Religion
• “Since 1960, the number of Americans claiming belief in God went from a ‘most emphatic’ 97 percent to 71 percent — a 26 point drop.”
• “Only 20 percent of the population attend church each weekend.”
• “Roughly 44 percent of Americans have left their childhood faith in favor of another denomination or religion or by dropping any religious affiliation at all.”
Hajj and the Journey of Peacemaker
This morning I was preparing my 6-year-old son for his Islamic school Hajj celebration day. They practice the various rites in order to prepare for what it will be like when, Inshallah (God-willing), they have the chance to make this sacred journey. As we spoke of the purpose of Hajj, three very distinct connections resonated with me as a peacemaker.
Free speech, religion clash over anti-Muslim film
“While the man behind an anti-Islam movie that ignited violence across the Middle East would likely face swift punishment in his native Egypt for making the film, in America the government is in the thorny position of protecting his free speech rights and looking out for his safety even while condemning his message.”