The Importance of Interfaith Awareness and Work

Here are three important pieces for us all to consider.

The first is an article written by Eboo Patel, an American Muslim of Indian heritage.  He is the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core based in Chicago, IL.  He is one of the young leaders of the new interfaith movement in the United States.  This is his response to the events that have transpired in Boston.

"These times require all of us to be interfaith leaders, to signal clearly that the worst elements of every tradition represent nobody."  Click here for the full article.

In addition, please read the beautifully written response to the events in Boston by the Muslim Alliance of Indiana below.  This is an organization that is doing incredible work in our community.  Second Presbyterian Church has a standing relationship with the Muslim Alliance of Indiana through which we have organized interfaith activities and service projects.

          The Muslim Alliance of Indiana joins other Muslim and faith groups in expressing our
          shock and dismay about the tragic events in Boston this week. Our prayers and thoughts
          are with the victims of the Boston marathon bombing, and its aftermath. We urge Muslims
          and people of all faiths to pray for the three innocent people killed in the blasts, the brave
          police officer killed in the line of duty, and their loved ones, and for the speedy recovery and
          rehabilitation of those so terribly injured. MAI vigorously condemns the heinous attacks as
          barbarous acts of terrorism and murder that are wholly contradictory to the teachings of Islam
          and other faiths.

          MAI commends law enforcement officers for their courage, skill, and diligence in finding and
          apprehending the suspects and working around the clock to keep Boston safe. We are grateful
          for the advice given by elected officials and community leaders to allow the legal process to
          go forward, without rushing to judgment about the suspects’ motivation or heritage. As we
          continue to learn more details about the suspects, we urge media professionals to continue to
          exercise restraint in speculating about their motivations.

          We urge that Americans stand united in combating terrorism. Our faith teaches compassion,
          charity, and justice. We urge Muslims to contribute generously to their communities by civic
          engagement, volunteering, helping the needy, and aiding public safety. To ensure the well being
          of individuals, places of worship, and communities, we urge that Hoosiers report any suspicious
          activity to local law enforcement. Leaders of places of worship, parochial schools, and
          communities should reach out to local police, and create a plan of action and communication
          to respond to any security threat.

Finally, here is an important dialogue which took place on Easter Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation.  This conversation is about the state of religion in America.

It is time that we understand one another and not just "tolerate" one another.  It is time that we work together toward justice and mercy.  It is time that we embrace and celebrate our differences in order that we might work together with integrity.  It is time!  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."


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