RISSC Report 8/11/2015
Reviving interfaith and intercultural dialogue
The Council of Ministers recently directed its National Committee to follow up on King Abdullah’s initiatives for dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures. It is heartening to finally hear about a positive contribution to this cause. The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue which was established in Vienna in 2010 needs more support to carry out its ambitious mission.
The interfaith initiative needs to be renewed and given more serious political, financial, academic and media support to dispel misconceptions about the Muslim faith and to end the cycle of suspicion based on distorted information which attempts to demonize Muslims and to create a divide between Islam and the West.
Muslims and Jews twinning program: “We refuse to be enemies
We refuse to be Enemies is the theme of the 8th Annual Season of Twinning. This is a project that brings together people of all faiths – mainly Muslims and Jews – in focused on educating communities about one other, working together on behalf of people in need, and standing together against bigotry.
The organizers say this year’s events are being held “in the face of escalating sectarian violence and increasing expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across North America, Europe and around the world.”
Faith Matters: Parliament of World’s Religions a challenge to move from prayer to action
That is how it all began for me. When I entered the Salt Lake City convention center to register for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions (Salt Lake City, Oct. 15-19), I was unprepared for what I saw. Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery were painstakingly creating a sand mandala. Two Catholic priests spoke with a Muslim man in a white cap. A few Sikh men in turbans passed in front of me while a group of fully clad Native Americans passed me on their way outside. Two Indian women in sarees strolled past the large-scale replica Jain Temple as a group of teens with matching T-shirts listened excitedly to their youth group leader.