Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christians, Muslims forging new bonds in United States

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Muslims and Muslim Americans across the country were subjected to threats and derogatory remarks, investigated by law enforcement and had their faith characterized as a "terrorist religion."
A new effort is unfolding among Christians and Muslims to build additional bridges at a time when President Obama has made reaching out to the Islamic world a national priority.

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity," Obama said in a major speech in Cairo in June. "And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end."
The challenges are formidable. For decades, interfaith talks here have produced soaring rhetoric and polished statements. But polls have indicated that despite the intentions and efforts of religious leaders, a good deal of ignorance and misunderstanding about other faiths remain in the pews.

"We have a lot of work to do," said Father Alexi Smith, the ecumenical and interreligious affairs officer of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The stakes could not be higher in the view of the Rev. Canon Gwynne Guibord, co-founder of the Christian-Muslim Consultative Group. Guibord is the ecumenical and interreligious concerns officer for the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese and a prominent figure in such efforts by the National Council of Churches.

"I believe that we will either perish together or we will survive together," Guibord said in a recent interview. "In order to survive together we really need to be more than tolerant of one another. We need to grow in understanding of one another."
This is an excerpt from an article published in Los Angeles Times by Larry B. Stammer on August 3rd, 2009. For the full article, please visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment