Thursday, September 9, 2010

MANY US Inter-Faith Clergy Oppose Recent Plans of a Few

ADDED Note: Be sure to see this for the Deep Concern and Protection offered: *Prophet Muhammad's Letter* to Monks of *St*. *Catherine
Monastery* here

The Gainesville, Florida, fire department has denied small church Jones a required burn permit...and countless leaders have called for the threat of this preacher and his small congregation to end inflaming hatred and bigotry and to discard their ridiculous plan to burn the Quran...

Original with Many Comments here from section at USA Today: A conversation about religion, spirituality & ethics

In face of Quran-burning threat, 'Silence is not an option:' Clergy

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America, participated in a news conference denouncing the growing intolerance against the Islamic faith on September 7, 2010 in Washington, DC. A score of other religious leaders also spoke out in support of this effort and many more have done so locally.

Deploring a "anti-muslim frenzy" underway from Manhattan to Florida and across the country, clergy and religious leaders from all faiths charged believers and leaders of all faiths with a moral responsibility to stand together and to denounce categorically derision, misinformation or outright bigotry directed against any religious group in this country. Silence is not an option.

Following their meeting in Washington D.C. the clergy summit participants said at their press conference that they...denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America's Muslim community. We bear a sacred responsibility to honor America's varied faith traditions and to promote a culture of mutual respect and the assurance of religious freedom for all. In advance of the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we announce a new era of interfaith cooperation.


More from AP/USA Today

...While the original impetus for the meeting was the rising tension over the Park 51 Islamic Community Center planned for two blocks north of Ground Zero, the determination of a Florida church to burn the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 also spurred the leaders outrage:

We are profoundly distressed and deeply saddened by the incidents of violence committed against Muslims in our community, and by the desecration of Islamic houses of worship. We stand by the principle that to attack any religion in the United States is to do violence to the religious freedom of all Americans. The threatened burning of copies of the Holy Qu'ran this Saturday is a particularly egregious offense that demands the strongest possible condemnation by all who value civility in public life and seek to honor the sacred memory of those who lost their lives on September 11. As religious leaders, we are appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text that for centuries has shaped many of the great cultures of our world, and that continues to give spiritual comfort to more than a billion Muslims today.

The summit was called by the Islamic Society of North America -- the mammoth civic group let by Ingrid Mattson, director of Islamic Chaplaincy at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn., Clergy are going to call out for compassion and solidarity and more interfaith collaboration.

In New Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders including Archbishop Timothy Dolan also issued a statement committing themselves to "facilitating" respectful dialogue about Park 51. Their statement said, in part,

All of us must ensure that our conversations on this matter remain civil, that our approaches to each other are marked with respect, and that our hearts stay free of bitterness.

Can interfaith voices for calm, tolerance and reflection -- the love and morality taught by world religions -- overcome headlines for a church planning to burn the Quran?

General David Petraeus has warned, in an e-mail to the Associated Press, that images of the bonfire is provoking international protests and could endanger U.S. troops.

Meanwhile U.S. Muslims who would, in other years, have celebrated the conclusion of the Ramadan fast with Eid al-Fitr, three days of community parties, family feasts and gifts, have been cowed into dulling the bright days because they coincide with the September 11th terrorist attack's ninth anniversary. They fear being seen as celebrating the attacks, as if all believers were complicit with the political terrorists.

And Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Sufi imam with a plan to build a community center and prayer room two blocks north of Ground Zero, has cut short a State-Department-backed speaking tour abroad to face the clamor back home.

Is there any chance that anyone is listening to Gov. David Paterson? Confronted with the tensions of the Park 51 center plans, he looked at his calendar and mused,

"Perhaps we might think more in terms of supporting those families who are on both sides of this issue as all of us are and maybe all step back and try to devote a week of peace."

A lifetime of peace would be more what the clergy who met today would hope. According to their press release, the summit meeting includes:

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington; Bishop Mark Sisk, the Episcopal Church's Bishop of New York; and Rabbi David Saperstein from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism -- As well as leadership from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, the Archdiocese of New York and Archdiocese of Washington...also expected to participate.

Who's missing? Well, for one, the folks from Florida with the matches...Who is standing up against Dove? Is anyone planning to show up at the Florida bonfire with fire hoses and buckets? Would you join such a water brigade? Can religions' words of love douse political and social flames...?

For more comments to similar Op Ed: here

And finally another reference for this post here

Interfaith gathering in Tempe to counter Quran-burning

Threats by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Quran, the Islamic holy book, are bringing together Jews, Christians and solidarity at the Islamic Community Center in Tempe. They will share from their ancient Scripture during the "Children of Abraham: A Celebration of Our Sacred Stories" ...The gathering is a Tempe clergy group's response to threats by the Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. (who) has ignited an international firestorm, with outcries and demonstration..."This doesn't seem very Christian to me," Shqeirat told other clergy.

Together, they agreed to hold a "celebration of diversity and an act of solidarity" with a Rabbi, an Imam and Christian pastors taking turns to show their common ground. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Islamic center, 131 E. Sixth St.

When Rev. Doug Bland, pastor of Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), learned of the imam's concerns, he suggested "an interfaith response that honors each others' sacred stories with stories from the Torah, the Quran and the Bible, told by religious leaders standing in solidarity with each other."

"Fear just seems to be rampant in our society - the looking for scapegoats or immigrants or Muslims," said Bland, a veteran regional storyteller and festival organizer. "This provides a positive alternative to that type of scapegoating and fear."The Rev. John Herman, pastor of Desert Palms United Church of Christ in Tempe, said his sister lives in Gainesville and attends Trinity United Methodist Church, which is holding a communitywide "Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope" concurrent with Jones' planned anti-Quran rally...More at above URL...

Brief Ending Comment: Perhaps unless there's more listings of inter-faith groups on behalf of peace, the less attention Mr. Jones gets the better. Also to burn in effigy or items which others hold dear in anger does not seem to be a very creative response. Wouldn't that be a little like doing back to others what we don't want done to ourselves, our nations and what we each hold dear?

For Intro if needed, here's a video: Other Comments under the Huff Post version of this Op Ed:

When this guy left Florida and went to NY, it gave the Authorities the chance to put this guy in a bottle, Because of the events of 911 in New York the police could closely monitor outside agitators. And that's what this guy had become, he had no real business in the 911 Anniversary, he didn't have relatives that died, and he wasn't their in 2001. He wanted to high-jack the event with his own little story, and NY didn't let him do that, Bravo New York!

Melanie Sumner 38 minutes ago (2:01 PM) It makes me so sad that sensationalism matters more than the actual facts.

44 minutes ago (1:55 PM) The media, instead of being the vanguard of truth, seems to have become the vanguard of spurious entertainment. We all lose.

...Marveleous laying out of the stupidity of the media and people like Harry Reid getting sucked into it. I would not mind Harry Reid being defeated, at least we may get someone replacing him (a democrat) who has a backbone!

What's so absurd about all this is the fact that 99.9 % of all Muslims around the world are just people who happen to be born in Muslim countries and loosely follow the tenets of Islam and are not fanatics...

Most Christians around the world are similar to Muslims in this respect, we just happen to be born in countries with large Christian populations and even though we believe in Jesus, we loosely follow the tenets of Christian religion to avoid fanaticism, hypocrisy and to avoid making harsh irrational judgements of others.

Christian RELIGION does not always equal the teachings of Jesus, who's ministry revolved more around LOVE than extreme and absolute interpretations and enforcement of religious laws/doctrines.

The right wing religious fanatics in both faiths are giving moderate Christians and Muslims, who simply want to live in peace, a bad name. Although religious doctrines are, and can be useful and important, they must be tempered with mercy and common sense relative to modern culture

...I think the point here is to come up with valuable, informative, or entertaining content to populate all those 24/7 cable networks -- otherwise it's just whatever shiny new object gets someone's attention. There are probably a lot of unemployed media people who could do a better job than those currently making many of the media coverage decisions -- anybody want to switch places?

"People want to know about this story" is the excuse Katie Couric uses for her execrable news-like program. TV news covers junk that makes good pictures and sexy stories. It isn't really about news at all.

HuffPost called the Koran burning story a "media fail," but I'd call it a TV viewer fail. Just because they put it on TV doesn't mean you have to watch it.

Interview with the editor of the Florida Sun that first reported on Terry Jones......
here or here


  1. CoExist Spirit of Gainesville Rules as City Turns Against (Would Be) Book-Burning Pastor

  2. Thanx be to all who've helped this violent plan to end!