Confronting Islamophobia: Major Seattle Conference Promotes Religious Tolerance

Confronting Islamophobia: Major Seattle Conference Promotes Religious Tolerance

Tomorrow begins a major Seattle conference, Confronting Islamophobia: I am My Brother’s Keeper, to be held at St. Mark’s Cathedral and sponsored by a host of Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups.  The keynote speaker is Imam Faisal Rauf, founder of Cordoba House and the former religious leader of the Park51 mosque.

On Saturday afternoon, I will speak at a panel on Islamophobia as Attack on Core American Values: Religious Freedom and Free Speech. I hope you can join us.

Confronting Islamophobia

May 6-7,  2011
St. Mark’s Cathedral ~ 1245 10th Ave. E ~ Seattle, WA

How does one assure that “never again” can be a strategy as well as a goal?  To consider this question a coalition of Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups is hosting a conference on Islam and Islamophobia.

When the poison of prejudice infects a society, it is as much at risk as the victims of intolerance.   Disdain for, and fear of Muslims exists among rich and poor, liberal and conservative. Islamophobia has increased in virulence and reminds many of the rise of antisemitism in Germany in the 1930s.

The conference will include outstanding speakers, workshops, and an interfaith prayer service, ending with dinner at one of several mosques.  The keynote speaker, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf from New York, will open the conference on Friday evening May 6th.  Saturday will include speakers, workshops and lunch, ending with an interfaith service including the Muslim evening prayer and a re-commitment to international human rights.  The service will be led by Imam Fazal Hassen, Bishop Greg Rickel and Rabbi Jim Mirel.

The evening will end with supper hosted by several local mosques including AbuBakr,Tukwila, Umar al Farooq Montlake, Terrace, MAPS, Redmond, ZIANAB Center Lynwood and others.

With the time shared, we hope to learn more about Islam, identify prejudice and bias, and consider strategies for confronting Islamophobia in our own community.  Prejudice is personal, national, and international.  It shapes, and is shaped by our media.  This event will provide strategies and forums for continuing to confront Islamophobia.

Keynote Speakers:

What’s Right with Islam IS What’s Right with America –

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is an American Sufi imam, author, and activist whose goal is to improve relations between the Muslim world and the West. Since 1983, he has been Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a mosque in New York City.  In 2010, Imam Abdul received national attention for his plans to build The Cordoba Center/Park51, an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, two blocks away from Ground Zero, and has been in demand as a speaker globally. He is the author of What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America and What’s right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West.

Getting to the Heart of Islam –

Jamal Rahman is a Muslim Sufi minister originally from Bangladesh. He is co-founder and co-minister at Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, WA, co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio, and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. Sheik Jamal teaches classes, workshops, and retreats locally, nationally, and internationally. He is the author of The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam

Islam and the West: The Burden of the Past and the Challenge of the Future ~

Yvonne Haddad  is Professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at George Washington University. Her fields of expertise include twentieth-century Islam, intellectual, social and political history in the Arab world, and Islam in North America and the West. Currently, Professor Haddad is conducting research on Muslims in the West and on Islamic Revolutionary Movements.  She is the author and editor of a number of books, including Muslim Christian Encounters and Islam, Gender, and Social Change.

Workshops  include:

The New Fault Line in Encounter Between Muslims and the West –
Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown  University

The Common Word – The Qur’an and the Bible –
Andy Larsen, Evangelical Covenant Church, Renton

Myths about Islam –
panel moderated by Arsalan Burkari executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR)

Meeting The Other: the Heart of Interfaith –
Sheik Jamal Rahman, author, minister

Islamophobia as Attack on Core American Values:
Religious Freedom and Free Speech  –
Richard Silverstein, jounrnalist and author of blog, Tikun Olam

Building Bridges Around Civil Liberties Across Faith Traditions –
Arsalan Burkari and Marilyn Mayers, Eastside Unitarian Peace Ministry Team

Islamophobia in US Middle East Policy –
Kathleen Christison, CIA Middle East desk analyst, author of “Perceptions of Palestine”.

Propaganda in the Digital Age –
Abigail Stahl, CAIR Outreach

What does it mean to be an American Muslim? –
Jennifer Gist, CAIR Civil Rights Coordinator

Jesus Christ and His Mother Mary: A Muslim View –
Alaa Badr, Islamic educator and activist, Microsoft emerging markets

Islam and the Environment:
A Broad Overview of How Islam Approaches the Fragility of the Earth –
Alaa Badr

Sharia, Canon law, and the Constitution –
Salah Dandon, lawyer and Sharia scholar, Jim Brooks, judge, The Tribunal, Archdiocese of Seattle

Sponsors:

The Diocese of Olympia, The Episcopal Church in Western Washington
Mid East Focus Saint Mark’s Cathedral
Episcopal Bishop’s Committee for Israel/Palestine
Council on American-Islamic Relations, WA
Jewish Voice for Peace
American Muslims of Puget Sound
Sabeel Puget Sound
Palestine Concerns Task Force of the Church Council of Greater Seattle
Middle East Peace Builders
Trinity United Methodist Church of Seattle
Voices of Palestine
Palestine Solidarity Committee, Seattle
and others.

Registrations fees:

Saturday 9:30 – 5:45  $45:00
Friday night 8:00 PM $10:00
Friday and Saturday $55:00 (Including lunch and dinner at a mosque)

Tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/158529
Facebook page  http://tinyurl.com/4ufnrqr
email info@confrontingislamophobia.org

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