The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Fun, Games and 9-11: Interfaith Gathering Aims at Building Friendships 9 August , 2011

Soccer, kite flying, hamburgers, lemonade, music, bean bag toss – not typical ingredients for memorializing a terrorist attack. But organizers promise those and more at a 9-11 Interfaith Family Day in Boca Raton.

The free event, planned for 1 to 4 p.m. at Patch Reef Park, will take the form of a family outing, with food, sports and music. Its organizing committee purposely planned it as a family outing on the anniversary of the terrorist attack.

“Ten years ago, we saw the tragic consequences of teachings by people who said ‘My religion is right and yours is wrong,’” said Rabbi Barry Silver, one of seven religious leaders at a press conference at the park Aug. 8. “But in the United States, we use religion to unite, not divide. Religion can be a source of harmony and cooperation.”




Football Result as FA Tackles Antisemitism 7 July , 2011

A Football Association initiative will tackle antisemitism and Islamophobia by encouraging cross-community matches, interfaith tournaments and grassroots education.

Faith in Football had its inaugural meeting at Wembley Stadium and will be chaired by Alex Goldberg of the European Centre for Jewish Leadership and the Faiths Forum for London.

Southport Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Zevi Saunders, who manages MJSL side Crumpsall FC, will also work as part of the coalition.




Muslim-Jewish Parley Seeks ‘Platform for Dialogue’ 5 July , 2011

The second annual Muslim- Jewish Conference kicked off in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday, with 70 students and young professionals coming from around the world to promote mutual understanding between global Jewish and Muslim communities.

The event is sponsored by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding based in New York and the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, among others, with participants coming from Austria, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia and the United States.



Interfaith conf. to bring Jews, Muslims together in Ukraine 29 June , 2011

Young Jewish and Muslim adults from 25 countries including Israel, Pakistan and Nigeria will convene in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev July 3rd for an interfaith seminar aimed at fighting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. “The Conference 2010 clarified that that the next generation of Muslims and Jews in the world is eager for dialogue and constructive contact,” said Ilja Sichrovsky, founder and secretary general of the Muslim Jewish Conference.

“We are determined to keep providing a true chance for them to talk to each other instead of about each other,”  Sichrovsky said.

The 2nd annual Muslim Jewish Conference is organized by members of the Jewish community of Austria and mostly funded by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding  and the Ukraine Jewish Committee.



Islamophobia Topic of Interfaith Event Saturday 16 June , 2011

Representatives of different religious faiths will discuss misperceptions about Islam in an interfaith forum Saturday.

The discussion, “Truth Over Fear: Countering Islamophobia,” will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Islamic Center of Tri-Cities, 2900 Bombing Range Road, West Richland.

Organizers said they hope the interfaith dialogue can explain the role and teachings of Islam and show how they align with human rights and democracy.

Speakers include Craig Moro, pastor of the Community Unitarian Universalist Church; Hassan Ziada, former imam of the Islamic Center; Zonia Ziada, a former Catholic nun; and Ala’a Ali, a member of the Islamic Center, who is from Egypt.


Fremont’s story five years later 15 June , 2011

FREMONT — Five years after filmmakers from Harvard came to Fremont to document the city’s rapid transformation into one of the nation’s most diverse places, city residents are invited watch the movie and talk about the city’s growing diversity.

The Tri-City Interfaith Council is presenting a free screening of the 57-minute film Thursday, followed by a panel discussion.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of and celebrate the religious diversity of our community,” the Rev. Jeff Spencer said. “And we want to ask where we are as a religiously diverse community and what work still needs to be done in terms of acceptance.”

During the filming of the documentary in 2006, Fremont was shaken by the killing of Alia Ansari, a Muslim woman wearing a head covering, who was shot while walking along a city street with her young daughter.

Although police determined that the daytime shooting wasn’t a hate crime, Spencer said it had the effect of a hate crime because many Muslim women were afraid to go out in public afterward.

Spencer said Fremont has continued to become increasingly tolerant in recent years, but still can become more inclusive.

“There is a lot of perceived Islamophobia, and there is probably a lot of actual Islamophobia that exists in this community,” he said.



US Muslims Campaign Fights Islamophobia 13 June , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues — wfamyl @ 2:30 pm
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HOUSTON – Carrying a message of unity, a US Muslim advocacy group has launched a new billboards campaign designed to help stemming growing anti-Muslim sentiments in the US, the KTRK Texas TV reported on Friday, June 10.

“This pro-active campaign is designed to promote mutual understanding and to highlight the contributions of American Muslims to our society,” said Mustafaa Carroll, Executive Director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Texas (CAIR-Houston).

Starting with Houston, CAIR “Peace and Unity” campaign will take place under a billboard depicting diverse representatives of the state’s Muslim community.

With the headline “Proud Americans, Proud Texans, Proud Muslims”, the 10 billboards spread across the city carry the photos of some of the Muslim members in the Houstonian society.

One billboard shows Muslims serving in a variety of professions, including a doctor and soldier.

Other billboards in the CAIR-Houston campaign will stress interfaith understanding by showing an imam with a Jewish rabbi and Christian pastor.



Interfaith Service Hopes to Dispel Stereotypes 9 June , 2011

Shazia Rehman thinks she may have a solution to religious misunderstandings in the world – get together and talk about it.

Rehman, president of the Regina Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, is holding an interfaith dialogue for women of many different perspectives and beliefs to come together and share their experiences.

“We must have more open dialogue,” said Rehman.

“When you’re not attacking somebody else’s belief system you’re able to share your own in a peaceful, understanding and tolerant environment.

“I find it interesting in how similar everybody carries out their practice despite a vastly different background.”



Eboo Patel via Washington Post: From 9/11 to January 25th 16 February , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues — Administrator @ 2:49 pm
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A few years ago I did a cable television interview on the youth bulge in majority-Muslim countries. It’s a huge group, I told the anchor, and they have the potential to make a really positive contribution to the world.

The images played on the screen during my interview were of young people doing training exercises at a terrorist camp – images in total contradiction to my message. I was livid. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then everything I was saying was totally drowned out. When I brought it up with one of the staff he just shrugged and said it was likely just the B-roll most readily available.
That’s when it hit me. This isn’t just a problem with the type of B-roll cable television has handy, this is a problem with the B-roll most readily available in our minds. The images that come up in too many people’s heads when they hear the terms “Muslim” or “Muslim youth” or “the Muslim world” is of suicide bombers or planes flying into the World Trade Center.

Eighteen days in Egypt changed all that.



From CNN Belief Blog: My Take: Egypt 2011 is Not Iran 1979 by Stephen Prothero 2 February , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues — Administrator @ 12:10 pm
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Americans are understandably both manic and depressed about recent developments in Egypt. The mania comes from 1776 and our own history of casting off a Pharaoh in the name of freedom. The depression comes compliments of 1979 and Iran, which saw populist street protests against a pro-American dictator co-opted into an Islamic Republic deeply hostile to the West.

And there are parallels between Iran back then and Egypt today. Both are large countries with sizeable, largely Islamic populations. And the leading opposition party in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood.

But Arab Egypt is not Persian Iran, for the following four reasons: