“People are enemies of what they do not know.”
-Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet
Our purpose is addressing Islamophobia and building bridges of understanding and friendship among non-Muslims and Muslims. This project offers resources to help deflate the severe and dangerous tensions, misunderstandings and animosity.
In view of the current Syrian refugee crisis, we have submitted the following testimony to Congress:
With appreciation to the Chairman and Members of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, we offer this testimony on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the security of the US Refugee Admissions Program.
We represent Peace and Unity Bridge, one of the 30-plus member organizations of Shoulder to Shoulder, and our purpose is addressing Islamophobia and building bridges of understanding and friendship among non-Muslims and Muslims in order to help alleviate dangerously polarizing tensions, misunderstandings and animosity. As people of faith, we cherish the inherent worth of every human person; as citizens of this nation, we cherish our rights and freedoms. We also uphold the International Bill of Human Rights in its declaration of rights and freedoms for all the world’s people, including the right “to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
Our hearts reach out to people suffering everywhere, and especially when the innocent oppressed and endangered are unfairly associated with their oppressors, such as is currently the case of the horribly beleaguered Syrian refugees and the terror-spreading ISIL. Muslim organizations large and small denounce ISIL in no uncertain terms. ISIL does not represent Islam as understood and practiced by the vast majority of Muslims here and abroad.
We consider the safekeeping our beloved country to be critical, and we emphatically agree with former Secretary Condoleeza Rice and others that our current system of security checks for refugees is very effective. As it stands, it is quite stringent such that it takes years for even the most traumatized refugees to be accepted onto our soil. Besides which, building friendships adds to our own longterm safety, while turning our back on those who are suffering often achieves the opposite and undesired outcome.
Fear of the stranger—the unknown other—is not a motivator that will build the world of which we all dream. Let us as a nation hold strong to our noble tradition of generously helping the down-trodden, as the revered Jesus of Nazareth taught in the story of the good Samaritan, who stopped to aid a beaten man not of his own tribe and even paid for his care when everyone else looked away.
P.A.I. R. (Positive American-Islamic Relations) – a place to share positive interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims in the USA; administered by Rev. Joel Grossman, InterFaith Minister
Featured Activist Resource:
from Muslim Advocates
“This pdf exposes the breadth of anti-Muslim hate online with examples from leading social media platforms, provides an overview of existing laws governing hate speech, and offers steps that Internet users can take to respond effectively to hate speech online: namely, reporting and counter-speech.”
Currently Available for scheduling:
To schedule any of these events in your congregation or group, please contact us.Featured Educational Resource:
“ING has been delivering educational presentations about Muslims and their faith for nearly two decades. The following are answers to some of the most common and challenging questions that ING and its affiliates across the country have encountered over the past 20 years. While many of the answers address issues that are well established because of a clear citation in the Qur’an or hadith (prophetic sayings)—such as the six major beliefs or the five pillars—others focus on areas that are more open to interpretation. These answers reflect the fact that Islamic doctrines are the product of a dynamic conversation among Muslim scholars as well as between the scholars and the laity who apply these rulings, rather than a fixed set of answers and regulations. ”
Featured Blog Post:
Reverend Jeremiah Kalendae on Islam, Sufism, Pluralism and more – Kalendae is a practicing Sufi and a Unitarian Universalist Muslim
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Peace and Unity Bridge is a project of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Washington, Vermont, assisted by a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.
We are eligible for some additional grant funds to match contributions received.
If you would like to support our work, we would be most appreciative.
Please contact us for details.