Archive for the ‘washington post’ tag
From The Washington Post
By Eboo Patel
Nothing is more exciting for me than seeing religious communities practice the command from their tradition to serve others. I had a chance to witness this at the early hour of 7 a.m. in New York today at a breakfast celebrating an emerging organization called Repair the World.
The prophets of our great traditions invoke calls to service – in scripture and verse, parable and hadith, service is a core value across faiths. And because it is a core part of these traditions, it ought to be a core part of both the life the community and religious identity. Repair the World was established to inspire American Jews and their communities to make service a defining part of American Jewish life – “to mobilize Jews to serve with integrity and authenticity” and to inspire and engage the Jewish community in service.
Part of what strikes me about this is the acknowledgment that service is a core part of the American Jewish identity. It suggests that service is a central responsibility of an engaged Jew – an integral part of contributing to the broader community.
From The Washington Post
By Katherine Marshall
Two hands cradling a tender young plant provided the visual image for an ambitious conference last week in Alexandria, Egypt. The image aptly illustrated the underlying question: have the new beginnings that President Obama promised one year ago, in his speech to the world’s Muslim communities at Cairo University, taken root? Not surprisingly, those of us who attended the conference heard a wide range of answers…
Religion found a central but not entirely easy place in the discussions. I moderated a lively session about why interfaith dialogue is needed, and why it is so difficult. Everyone had something to say, less about the merits or demerits of dialogue than about what they think is wrong.
Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzogovina commented, with some exasperation, that everyone has many complaints. What, he said, would have transpired if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had said in his speech, “I have a complaint”? What we need instead, he said, are hopes and dreams…
Evoking the promise of Obama’s Cairo speech, the Sheikh admitted that turning hope into reality is not easy, but there is solid ground for mercy and peace to grow. Of over 6,000 verses in the Qur’an, he said, only 300 are related to legal matters; 97 percent are about moral excellence. Bill Vendley focused on similar themes: we need to learn together, to value together, and to act together.
Women’s roles in Muslim societies were at the forefront in the Alexandria discussions and the Sheikh was challenged to comment. He tried to draw the line between what the essence of religion dictates (equal yet complementary roles), and what he termed bad customs and traditions in some Muslim societies. Interestingly, he reported a recent review he undertook of Muslim history which found over 90 women heads of state, judges, and ministers. The implication: culture, not religion, is the obstacle.
To learn more about the Initiatives in Education, Science, and Culture Conference, click here.
In an op-ed published today in one of the United States’ most prestigious publications — The Washington Post — major speaker Katherine Marshall extols the fact and potential of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. By focusing on topics such as poverty, climate change, the role of women of faith and indigenous peoples, Margaret presents a vision of “a fresh determination to mobilize the energies and creativity…”
To read the full story, click here.