Stand with your Muslim neighbors

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Photo: Jordan Goldwarg

If you have never visited a mosque, now is the time to do it.

By Jordan Goldwarg / The Seattle Times
December 1, 2016

[Jordan Goldwarg is the Northwest regional director for Kids4Peace International, a global movement of youth and families, dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in divided societies around the world.]


In my work as the director of an interfaith-youth movement, I have had the privilege of visiting numerous mosques in Seattle and forming close friendships and professional relationships with many Muslims. Through these contacts, I have come to see Islam as a religion that espouses peace, compassion and tolerance.


On a recent night, I received a disturbing email informing me of vandalism that had damaged the main sign at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), the largest mosque in the region.

The following day, I received a phone call from a Muslim friend telling me that if a national Muslim registry is created, she will fear for her children and move her family back to East Africa.

These two incidents dramatically illustrate the anxiety that American Muslims are feeling, driven in no small part by a 67 percent increase in hate crimes last year over 2014, according to the FBI.

The vandalized sign underscores the critical importance of non-Muslim allies to stand against Islamophobia and support our Muslim friends and neighbors.

We need to defend Muslims for two reasons. First, as friends, we can speak out against bigotry and lend our voices in opposition to those who say that Muslims who speak in their own defense are simply trying to protect their own interests.

Second, we have the ability to make members of a targeted group feel valued and accepted as members of our community. So many of my Muslim colleagues have told me that community support is what makes this time of fear and anxiety more bearable. Continue reading “Stand with your Muslim neighbors”

Islam in the Public Square

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On Saturday, October 29, 2016, local area leaders and concerned citizens gathered at Town Hall Seattle for an event, Islam in the Public Square, to examine the dynamics that have led to the gap in understanding about Islam in America. We discussed the many issues clouding the image of Islam and Muslims in America, sought to build understanding and tolerance across ethnic and faith lines, and looked into ways all of us can confront and overcome the misunderstandings and fears that divide us. Together, as one Seattle community, we explored ways to work together for peace and justice.

Our humble thanks to the many people and organizations whose contributions of time, effort, and resources made this event such a success.

Below are the events, with links to transcripts, video, and photos.


Introduction & Welcome

Opening Prayer
“Amsa ul husna”
[See video here]

Introduction
Randolph Urmston, Attorney (moderator)
[See video here]

Welcome
Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, VIII Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
[See video and text here]


Keynote Presentations
“Understanding Islam and Our Muslim Neighbor”

From a Clash of Ignorance to a Dialogue of Civilizations!
Mohamed Jawad Khaki, Founder, Ithna-asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN)
[See video and text here]

Video: The Clash of Ignorance
Shafique Virani / TEDxUTSC
[See video here]

Trust in One Another, a Key to a Peaceful Society
Mahmood Khadeer, Founder, Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS)
[See video and text here]

How to Change a Million Minds in 15 Minutes
Varisha Khan, Senior, University of Washington, major in Political Science and Journalism
[See video and text here]

How the “Private Good” of Religion Becomes a “Public Good” for Society
Mark Markuly, PhD, Dean and Professor of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University School of Theology
[See video and text here]


Breakout Session & Call to Prayer

[See video here]


Panel Discussion

[See video here]

Video: American Muslims, Fact or Fiction
Unity Productions Foundation
[See video here]


Table Responses

[See video here]


 Photographs

[See photographs here]


 Event Sponsors