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“Why I am Part of Our Muslim Neighbor”

By: Yehezkel Landau Associate Professor of Interfaith Relations, Hartford Seminary Our Muslim Neighbor is an exemplary grass-roots effort to improve relations among American citizens of diverse backgrounds and religious beliefs. Its accomplishments promise to yield lessons for other American communities. For me, as a Jewish religious educator and peacebuilder, participation in this initiative is a challenge and a privilege. It allows me to broaden my network of faithful colleagues, to apply the peacebuilding skills and approaches that I use in my professional work, and to promote greater mutual understanding among fellow Americans. As a dual citizen of both the United States and Israel who lived in Jerusalem for close to 25 years, I am painfully aware of how the ongoing tragedy in Israel/Palestine breeds suspicion and animosity among Jews, Muslims, and Christians in America. Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in constructive ways, through respectful dialogue that taps our emotional and spiritual wisdom, needs to be part of interfaith encounters aimed at building bridges of mutual trust and solidarity. We all have a stake in improving the health of our society. Our children’s welfare depends on it. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that we must combat Islamophobia and other forms of religious prejudice, lest these social diseases generate heightened fear, anger, and hatred. Our social and political conflicts require spiritual remedies, and that is why I am pleased to be part of Our Muslim Neighbor, offering faith-based approaches to the nation-wide problems of religious bigotry and intergroup...

The Challenge of ISIS in America: Perspectives from Interfaith Peacebuilders and Leaders

It’s time for a clearer, more respectful understanding of how the U.S. interfaith movement approaches the conversation between the so-called Islamic State and faith in public life to be heard. We can’t let pundits and so-called experts control the general public’s understanding. That’s why on October 27th, at 9:30 ET AM, we spoke with Dr. Omid Safi of Duke, Dr. Jerusha Lamptey of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Mr. Ron Kraybill, Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding and Development to the United Nations, stationed in Manilla, to help us reframe this...

Life Together: A Community and Religious Leaders Conference of Middle Tennessee

This three-day conference was a time of reflection and relationship building among Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in Middle Tennessee. We visited houses of worship, heard nationally recognized faith leaders speak to the importance of interfaith relations, and learned from one another about our rich and diverse traditions of faith. The Our Muslim Neighbor initiated gathered a core group of twenty religious leaders from across the region of Middle Tennessee to probe into the challenges and opportunities of life in our multi faith community. The video to the left covers the final interfaith panel: Life Together: Building a Community of Communities featuring Sheikh Osama Bahloul of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Rev. Dr. Christine Hong, of the PC(USA) and Dr. Yehezkel Landau of Hartford...

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The Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative is generously funded by the William and Mary Greve Foundation, The El-Hibri Foundation and Dr. Haruhisa Handa, and the International Shinto Foundation. We are deeply grateful for their leadership and support of our efforts.

Fear has become the motivating factor in the normalization of the condemnation of Islam and the oppression of Muslims in America. Our Muslim Neighbor works to counter this fear with a positive, informed, and consistent message of Islam and Muslims in the U.S.

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