|December 6, 2015 — This week, American Jews are participating|
in a series of nationally coordinated actions against Islamophobia
and racism to mark the eight days of Chanukah with a rekindling
of their commitment to justice. (See jewssayno.org)
Simply stated: Islamophobia fosters war.
We live in a 24/7 entertainment and media culture, and it is a constant struggle to shift from being a passive participant in the dominant cultural narrative to being an active influence on the ideas circulating in our communities.
Numerous groups are leading an effort to replace Islamophobia with education and conversation. (See links below.)
In particular, as an active participant in several church congregations, I recognize the responsibility of people of faith to move from contemplation to action. (Apostles act.) I invite us members of Christian communities to ask ourselves:
What are we doing to bridge the gap between ourselves and Muslims?
(If we are not the ones to create the bridge, who is???)
Here are some of my recent blog posts on the subject of Islamophobia:
(See They'll Know Us By Our Actions)
The iPhobe is a humanoid robot that spouts anti-Islamic rhetoric and encourages fear and hatred in an unprecedented variety of ways.
(See Like your iPhone? You'll LOVE the new iPhobe!)
(See Why Does Iran Arouse So Much Hostility?)
(See Orwell and the Uses of Hate)
(See The Wrong 3,000,000 Covers: Quel dommage! )
(See Fighting Back: It's alright as long as you're a Christian, right? )
(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )
(See Kairos: "Muslim" Doesn't Mean "Terrorist"! )
I was back in New Jersey to visit with high school friends in July. It gave me the opportunity to visit the newly opened 9/11 Memorial. Not surprisingly, what I saw made me spend days and weeks thinking about the memorial itself, and the larger issue of 9/11 in our national life. Out of all that I have seen and heard and read and thought about, several thoughts keep rising to the top.
(See 9/11 Memory: Grieving and Celebrating Valor, Leaving Vengeance Behind )
Useful links to anti-Islamophobia resources
Veterans Challenge Islamophobia is an organization of U.S. military veterans, many of whom saw combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam, who are appalled by the current spate of bigotry, racism and hatred expressed toward Muslims, the huge majority of whom are law-abiding and productive citizens.
|Messages from Veterans Challenge Islamophobia:|
"Hate does not make America great. #VetsVsHate"
"Another veteran for Islam. #VetsVsHate"
"Hate speech has deadly consequences. So does war. #VetsVsHate #VetsFireTrump"
"I served with Muslims in Afghanistan. #VetsVsHate #VetsFireTrump"
"I am a Muslim and veteran. #VetsVsHate"
"Vets aren't props for hate. #VetsVsHate"
"Hate and fear are not American values. #VetsVsHate"
"I'm a warrior not a prop 4 hate. #VetsVsHate #VetsFireTrump"
"My ancestors were refugees. #VetsVsHate"
10 Strategies to Counter Islamophobia - Presented by Imam Malik Mujahid at 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago, January 27, 2016.
Anti-Islamophobia events happening around the country
Talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at WB Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina (January 3, 2016)