April 14, 2014
As the news of the tragic shooting in the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City and Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement community, broke across the nation, here are a few thoughts and prayers that I wanted to share:
1) Silence, Grief, and prayers.
– See more at: http://omidsafi.religionnews.com/2014/04/14/shootings-kansas-jewish-community-centers-case-domestic-terrorism/#sthash.1nrPtbBA.dpuf As the news of the tragic shooting in the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City and Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement community, broke across the nation, here are a few thoughts and prayers that I wanted to share:
1) Silence, Grief, and prayers.
2) This is about all of us.
3) The shooter is not “mad”, “crazy”, “deranged”. This is a case of Domestic Terrorism.
Let us resist every attempt to soften the savagery of this attack by calling it the work of a single, isolated, lone madman. Yes, there are facts that still need to be collected, but there is a trail of evidence that’s hard to ignore.
This is not the work of one solitary crazed man. The SPLC has tracked 939 extremist KKK, white-supremacist, and other hate-groups. We have a lot of work to do.
The Washington Post highlights the change in Ramadan rituals and traditions over the course of moving from predominantly Muslim countries to the United States. Particularly since September 11th, 2001, Muslim Americans are using the holy month to engage in activism, organizing community iftars, holding Islam-related film viewings, lectures, and inter-faith events. These changes reflect the differences of being the minority in a majority Christian country, where Ramadan festivities are not made visible by default, but encourage Muslim Americans to actively organize such events. The article follows the cases of several Muslim Americans from various backgrounds, who discuss not the Americanization of Ramadan, but ways in which they have melded the two in their own lives.
Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)
French authorities are filing preliminary charges of “attempted murder with anti-Semitic motives” against three suspects charged with beating a Jewish teenager on June 21st in Paris, who later spent two days in a coma. Libération newspaper claims that such altercations are on the rise among youth gangs in the 19th district of Paris.
The June attack was immediately condemned by President Sarkozy, who was on a three-day visit to Israel at the time and “assure[d] the victim and his family of his support and renews his total determination to fight all forms of racism and anti-Semitism.” Mohamed Moussaoui, the new president of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) stated in Le Figaro that he was concerned about the attack like “All other French people. Not especially as Muslims. We live in harmony with the other religions. The isolated incidents of anti-Semitism carried out by Muslims should be not over generalized.” France has the largest populations of Muslims and Jews living in close proximity outside of the Middle East.
See full-text articles:
International Herald Tribune
More details on the attack here.
International Herald Tribune
Moussaoui’s comments in Le Figaro available here .
The Bishop of Lichfield has stepped into the debate about whether the Church should seek to convert Muslims by defending the church’s missionary approach to Islam. The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, in a pastoral letter in parish magazines throughout Staffordshire, the northern half of Shropshire and most of the Black Country, said the Church had nothing to fear by recognising that Islam too is a missionary faith. “Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths. That means that each understands that the other has a message to convey to the world,” he said. “Muslims do not respect Christians who compromise their faith or water down their belief in the uniqueness of Christ. “A fundamental plank of a free society is the freedom to argue for one’s beliefs and to seek to persuade others. “Just as important is the freedom to change one’s religion (‘be converted’) and to change it again.” He stressed, however, that the decision to change religion must be taken freely, saying: “Any coercion is to be avoided.” He added: “Part of that will be to learn about the Muslim religion and to show respect for Muslim communities. Part of neighbourliness will be to share our Good News with them.” Next month, bishops, clergy and laity from the Diocese of Lichfield will join with their partners from Malaysia, South Africa, Canada and Germany, to discuss “Mission and the challenge of Islam”.
Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration).
Members of Italy’s Muslim community met on Friday to find new ways to combat extremism. The meeting, held in Rome’s main mosque, was the first of its kind to be organized by the Association of Muslim Intellectuals. “We placed attention on the need to implement strategies to prevent Islamic radicalism and foster initiatives that aim to create a more accurate image of Islam,” said in a statement by the group. The group also asserted that it would support an initiative by Pope Benedict XVI who intends to read from parts of Genesis in a televised speech to be given in October. The president of the organization, Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo said that the group is “happy to participate in a moment of great religious and civil significance.
Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
Saudi Arabia and Spain have agreed to hold an interfaith dialogue of Muslims, Jews, and Christians to be held next month in Madrid. King Abdullah had called for the dialogue. The event will take place by the Saudi-based World Muslim League on July 16th-18th. The dialogue will include Prominent figures among followers of the divine messages will take part in dialogue concerning life in human societies, international cooperation, human rights, and issues of security, peace and living together in the world.