Weekly News from the Center for Pluralism – 5/18/18
Breaking: Ten students killed in shooting at Santa Fe Highschool near Houston, Texas. Our prayers are with the victims and their families. God will not do anything about it, we have to speak up against the corrupt politicians who are sold to the lobbyists.
The following articles represent pluralism in religion, politics, society, culture, Gender, and business. Pluralism is an attitude of “Respecting the otherness of others” and “accepting the God-given the uniqueness of each one of us.” You are who you are, and I am who I am, neither one of us has to compromise the uniqueness of our faith, race, culture, nationality, and language. Our purpose is to acknowledge the differences and live with least conflicts.
ARTICLES TO REFLECT
- Everything about Ramadan
- Iftaar Problem on the bus in Israel
- Politics of Ramadan
- Knock off Religion from the Israel Palestine Conflict
- Sikhs provoked by the Hindutva
- Royal Interracial Wedding – Harry & Meghan
- Festivals of May
- What do we do at the Center for Pluralism
- Interfaith Marriages
Everything about Ramadan
Everything you wanted to know about Ramadan and more is all here at www.RamadanNews.com
Iftaar Problem on the bus in Israel
The tour guide (Lady in the picture) turns the microphone on and gives us an outline of the day’s activities. Most of us were all Americans of different ethnicities, and she had no idea about any one of us, and I guess it was another day for her. She blurts out, “There are six pillars of Islam.” and after some misinformation, and she came to the sixth pillar of Islam – “Jihad.” She was confident, “It means waging war against Jews and Christians.” I stood up and said, “No Madam, no, there is no sixth pillar in Islam, I am a Muslim, and I can explain.” She protested, “Yes, Jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam” this information was given to us by the ministry, and she pulled her notes out to show. I looked around at fellow Passengers and my friends, and asked, do you want to know Islam from a Muslim? There was a pause, and they all said in unison, “yes we do.” It was the 11th day of Ramadan, and about 50 of us from the Middle East Peace Initiative got on the bus to go around Israel and Palestine.
Full story and pictures at http://ramadannews.com/iftaar-problem-on-the-bus-in-israel/
Politics of Ramadan
Since the beginning of Islam, there have been debates as to what constitutes moon sighting. Some interpret that there has got to be a minion to declare that they have seen it themselves with their own eyes and some do not accept it unless they have seen it themselves. It is also acceptable if the moon is sighted elsewhere, but now, each group has to have their own moon sighting. In the United States, there is an organization that monitors moon sighting and announces it in advance. Let people celebrate the Eid when it works out in their particular calendar, never, ever, look down on others for celebrating the Eid on a different day than you. Over the millennium we have learned to accept and respect the otherness of other. http://ramadannews.com/politics-of-ramadan-on-moon-sighting/
Knock off Religion from Israel Palestine Conflict
Religions are always used and abused to suit one’s greed. Part of the problem, not the whole, of the Israel Palestine conflicts is religious scriptures, and the other part is security. All of us have reduced God’s wisdom to be bigoted, discriminative, and partial. Is this our God? A few Jews believe that they are the chosen people. A few Christians believe Jesus’ arrival on doomsday will wipe out everyone but Christianity. A few Muslims think Islam is the only religion acceptable to God. A few Hindus, Sikhs and others have similar arrogant attitudes that they are the best, scientific or the oldest and wisest. Indeed, none of them is a wrong religion; the flaw is in our understanding.
Read on at http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2018/05/knock-off-religion-from-israel.html
Sikhs Provoked by the Hindutva
First of all, Hindutva is not Hinduism. Hindutva is a political ideology that believes in the supremacy of a group within the fold of Hinduism. Its parallels are Nazism to Christianity, KKK to Christianity, ISIS to Islam, Taliban to Islam, extreme Zionism to Judaism (the moderate strand is beautiful as they aspire for a homeland). Its comparison would be Nazi’s who believed in the superiority of the Germans and were hell-bent on annihilating the others, Jews in particular. Indeed, the Hindutva group of families, also known as Sangh Parivar under the flagship of RSS idolized Hitler and believed that RSS should do the same with people who do not subscribe to their views, as the entire Indian population is of the same race, no matter what religion they follow. The women, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Muslims, and Dalits live under tensions, and it is not good for the nation. We need to sit down and reconcile our differences. India’s current political government is run by the RSS, and hopefully, it will change in the 2019 General elections to restore India to its pluralistic heritage. Full article at http://centerforpluralism.com/sikhs-provoked-by-the-hindutva/
Royal Interracial Wedding – Harry & Meghan
A historic moment in human equality is coming up. It would be the wedding of Prince Harry and Actress Meghan. I bet the whole world will cry on their marriage with happiness. Indeed, this is what every human wants – to be treated and accepted as equal. When they see that the prince tears the wall of aristocracy and start seeing humanity in Meghan, it gives joy, to the entire world.
My instant reaction was seeing a new milestone in the history of racial relations. Barack Obama’ had choked me with tears, it was just not me, the whole world cried on November 4, 2008, and they were the tears of happiness. That event was one of the most profound moments in human history. The other moment was when Michelle Obama was treated as an equal by Queen Elizabeth.
It is about the relationship between an average American girl and the ‘Prince.’ Meghan is self-made, feels equal and behaves equal, and has her own life, and not looking for her man to take care of her or protect her, to me that is demeaning and subservient. That is my girl and that is being American and living a dignified life.
It is a hell of a good movie to watch.
More at http://interfaithmarriages.org/harry-meghan-a-royal-romance/
Festivals of May
When we live as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to understand each other’s sorrows and joys, and festivities and commemorations. Wouldn’t it be nice if you know a little bit about your neighbor’s festival and perhaps invite them to your celebrations to start safe neighborhoods by understanding each other?
What do we do at the Center for Pluralism?
Marriage is indeed an expression of a commitment to s relationship between two individuals. The men and women who take the bold step to become one regardless of their origins, faiths, races, and ethnicities must be applauded. They are setting an example of how to live in harmony despite their differences. Interfaith marriages are becoming the new norm of the society. In a few years, one out of two unions would be of interfaith. Yes, this is across the board, whether you are a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Baha’i, Atheist or the other. According to the Pew survey, 40% of people of faiths will be marrying a person of another religion; it is higher among Jews, it is 50%. Details at http://interfaithmarriages.org
What do we do at the Center for Pluralism
Pluralism is an attitude of “Respecting the otherness of others” and “accepting the God-given the uniqueness of each one of us.” You are who you are, and I am who I am, neither one of us has to compromise the uniqueness of our faith, race, culture, nationality, and language. Our purpose is to acknowledge the differences and live with least conflicts. Pluralism News is the weekly publication of the Center for Pluralism. You can access this anytime through www.PluralismNews.com. We will be happy to speak to your congregation, students, friends. We can conduct a workshop in building a cohesive community, workplace or society. Pluralism does not mean compromise or appeasement; it is simply a development of an attitude for living with others with least conflicts. Please email to Mike@CenterforPluralism.com
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The author is the president of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
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