Archive Page 2

Imam Khalid Latif, an NYU chaplain, writes about Osama’s burial at sea

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/02/my-take-burial-at-sea-shows-compassion-of-islamic-law/

Advertisements

Harlem Muslim-Catholic Partnership to Feed the Hungry

The Muslim-Catholic Partnership for Social Services recently launched an food drive to benefit All-Saints Pantry in East Harlem. The project, funded by the GHR Foundation, aims at creating mutually beneficial relationships between Muslim and Catholic organizations as a platform for interreligious dialogue and
understanding.
Two weeks ago, members of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood gathered several boxes of non-perishible foodstuffs, and delivered them to All-Saints Pantry for distribution. This food drive came at a particularly helpful time for Harlem food banks, whose budgets have been cut severely in recent months. After the boxes were unloaded, volunteers from the MIB and All-Saints joined together in prayer.
April, 30th, two volunteers from the MIB will continued their good works, and aided in the distribution of food at the All-Saints Pantry.

If you would like to know more about this program, please contact Dr. Sarah Sayeed (ssayeed@interfaithcenter.org)

Letter From United Sikhs Regarding Violence in Queens

In response to the violence at Gurdwara Baba Makhan Shah Lubana in Queens, New York, Mr. Hansdeep Singh has written a letter on behalf of United Sikhs. Read below an excerpt from the letter, which is followed by a link to the full text.

“As New York is getting ready to celebrate the Sikh Day Parade (Vaisakhi) this Saturday to commemorate the 312th anniversary of the Birth of the Khalsa, we are deeply wounded by the actions of a small group of people who have desecrated this sacred space and the identity bestowed upon them by their Gurus (Prophets).

UNITED SIKHS and the entire international Sikh community condemn in the strongest possible way the violence that occurred at Gurdwara Baba Makhan Shah Lubana. Although unfair, as a visible minority community, the action of a few always leaves a larger stain on the entire Sikh community, a community that has struggled to fight misperceptions about our faith and beliefs. Yet, that is our burden to carry, as our Gurus recognized that our visible identity would always make us accountable for our own actions, but also, the actions of our misguided brothers and sisters. ”

To read Mr. Hansdeep Singh’s letter in its entirety: Letter from United Sikhs

ICNY supports our friends at United Sikhs as we both work to promote non-violence.

Lubavitch Hasidic Community in Crown Heights

In the spirit of educating ourselves about interfaith issues, check out this New York Times video for a fascinating glimpse of the Lubavitch Hasidic community of Crown Heights (link below).  The video focuses on Lubavitch “mitzvah tanks” – an effort to bring the Messiah and redeem creation by encouraging religious observance among secular Jews. Feel free to leave your comments or questions in the box below.

Video:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/04/27/nyregion/100000000790146/are-you-jewish-.html?exprod=myyahoo

If you want to learn more about the Lubavitch community and their neighbors in Crown Heights, check out the book Race and Religion among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights, by ICNY Education Program Associate Henry Goldschmidt.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Among-Chosen-People-Heights/dp/0813538971/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303999242&sr=8-1

Religious Leaders Urge Presidential Leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Religious Leaders Urge Presidential Leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace

In response to the launching of a new Israeli Peace Initiative by former Israeli government, intelligence and security officials, leaders of twenty-five Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations wrote to President Obama saying that they believe “this initiative, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative and the Geneva Accord, taken together, offer key principles and ideas for comprehensive Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.”  (Letter and endorsers attached.)

The religious leaders observed:  “The main elements of these peace initiatives reflect years of official and informal, unofficial negotiations and include creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, based on the 1967 borders with possible limited land swaps as mutually agreed; a fair negotiated resolution of the issue of refugees that does not threaten the demography of Israel; the sharing of Jerusalem by Israel and the Palestinian state with both having their capitals in the city; and Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights as part of a peace agreement with Syria.”

Citing “the current stalemate in negotiations, the threat of escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and the goal and expectation that peace can be achieved this year,” the religious
leaders urged that “the United States, in coordination with the Quartet (the U.S., European Union, Russia, and U.N. Secretary General) should support these elements being addressed in negotiations on an urgent basis.”

The religious leaders encouraged President Obama to visit Jerusalem and the region soon, and they “pledged their prayers and public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership in this urgent endeavor.”   The leaders believe that in providing such leadership, the President “can count on substantial support from members of churches, synagogues and mosques across the country.”

*    *    *    *

National Interreligious Leadership Initiative
for Peace in the Middle East
E-Mail: usicpme@aol.com     
Website: www.nili-mideastpeace.org 


April 14, 2011

President Barack Obama    
The White House
Washington, DC 20270
Dear Mr. President,

The launching of a new peace initiative by a group of former Israeli government, intelligence and security officials prompts us to write to you as leaders of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations who are committed to strong U.S. leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace 

Given the current stalemate in negotiations, the threat of escalation of violent confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the goal and expectation that peace can be achieved this year, 
we believe the Israeli peace initiative, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative, and the Geneva Accord, taken together, offer key principles and ideas for negotiations to achieve comprehensive 
Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

The main elements of these peace initiatives reflect years of official and informal, unofficial negotiations and include: creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, based on the 1967 borders with possible limited land swaps as mutually agreed; a fair negotiated resolution of the issue of refugees that does not threaten the demography of Israel; the sharing of Jerusalem by Israel and the Palestinian state with both having their capitals in the city; and Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights as part of a peace agreement with Syria. We believe the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, should support these elements being addressed in negotiations on an urgent basis. In addition, of particular concern to our communities are guarantees for free access to Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy places.

We encourage you to visit Jerusalem and the region soon to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to discuss next steps toward achieving peace based on the principles and ideas in these peace initiatives. 

We pledge our prayers and public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership in this urgent endeavor.  We believe you can count on substantial support from members of churches, synagogues, and mosques across the country. 

Sincerely yours,

(List of Endorsers follows) 

Cc: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 
       National Security Advisor Tom Donilon



National Interreligious Leadership Initiative
for Peace in the Middle East
E-Mail: usicpme@aol.com 
Website: www.nili-mideastpeace.org 
Tel: (425) 327-7545

Letter to President Barack Obama
April 14, 2011
List of Endorsers
Christian Leaders:
His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington *
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, USCCB*
Archbishop Vicken Aykasian, Director, Ecumenical Affairs, Armenia Orthodox Church in America*
Fr. Mark Arey, Director, Office of Ecumenical Affairs, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America*
The Reverend Peg Chemberlin, President, National Council of Churches of Christ USA*
The Reverend Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ USA*
Bishop Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America*
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, Episcopal Church*
The Reverend Geoffrey Black, General Minister & President, United Church of Christ*
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister, President, Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)*
The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)*
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church*
Richard Stearns, President, World Vision United States*
The Reverend Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries, Board Member, World Vision US*
David Neff, Editor in Chief and Vice-President, Christianity Today*
The Reverend John M. Buchanan, Editor and Publisher, Christian Century*

Jewish Leaders:
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism*
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President, Central Conference of American Rabbis*
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis*
Rabbi Paul Menitoff, Past President, Central Conference of American Rabbis*
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Vice President, A Different Future*
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector, American Jewish University*
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Professor of Midrash & Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary* 
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Director of Congregational Services, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation*
Dr. Carl Sheingold, Former Executive Vice President, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation*
Rabbi Amy Small, Past President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Asssembly*

Muslim Leaders:
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, National Director, Islamic Society of North America*
Imam Mohammed ibn Hagmagid, Vice President, Islamic Society of North America*
Naeem Baig, Executive Director, Islamic Circle of North America*
Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University*
Dawud Assad, President Emeritus, Council of Mosques, USA*
Eide Alawan, Interfaith Office for Outreach, Islamic Center of America* 
Iftekhar A. Hai, Founding Director, United Muslims of America*

Organizations for Identification Only

Supporting Non Violence in Islam

In the past decade, we have seen too many instances of violent extremism in the name of Islam. Always, there is a response from Muslims condemning it. However, the condemnation has rarely been heard.

Endorsing their support for an anti-war rally on April 9, 100 imams and Muslim leaders in the United States recently issued a statement “calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, condemning terrorism and thanking American individuals and groups who are standing with the Muslim community against Islamophobia.”

Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-sayeed-phd/100-muslim-leaders-suppor_b_846959.html

Sarah Sayeed, Ph.D.
Program Associate
The Interfaith Center of New York

ICNY Statement on Qur’an Desecration

The Interfaith Center of New York joins the chorus of American Christian and Muslim voices extending their deepest sympathies and prayers for the families and loved-ones of the innocent Afghan and UN-employed victims of violence
in Mazaar and other parts of Afghanistan these past weeks. We add our voices to countless others condemning in the strongest terms the thoughtless desecration of the Qur’an.

We also acknowledge important condemnations of Quran burning and the Afghanistan killings from our colleagues at the World Evangelical Association, the Anglican Church, Cordoba Institute, and ASMA.  Please find links to their statements  below.

World Evangelical Association

Anglican Church