Category: "Articles and Appearances by ICNY staff"

Domestic Violence, Islam, and the Unexpected Response

Summary: As we should know by now, domestic violence is a crime that afflicts all communities, be them rich or poor, black or white, and regardless of their faith background. Still, the Muslim community in America suffers disproportionately. Or so many Muslims in New York believe. If a Jew or Christian commits domestic violence, will the media report it as a religious act?  Reuters Blogs Author: Matthew Weiner Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Domestic Violence, Islam, and the Unexpected Response...Continue Reading

Gaza, New York, Mayor Bloomberg and interfaith dialogue

Summary: The last day of 2008 was a bad day for interfaith relations in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had his annual Prayer Breakfast at the New York Public Library, where several hundred religious leaders gathered. As usual there were prayers offered from many faiths. The Hindus were miffed, because a Sikh got their usual slot. Instead of praying, the Sikh explained Sikhism for a bit too long. The Buddhist monk also prayed too long, and the translation took forever. But poor staging was not the reason for the dark cloud that hung over us all. Instead, it was the bombing of Gaza. Or rather it was the Mayor's response the day before that created tension in the audience....Continue Reading

Avigdor Lieberman: A Threat to Israeli Democracy

Summary: What does it take to get a secular Israeli Harvard Mathematician who has never engaged in public politics to jump full force into the current election in his country, and create a grassroots campaign amongst academics? The answer is simple: it is prospects of a government shared by Avigdor Lieberman, leader of ultra nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party. Belief Net Author: Matthew Weiner Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Avigdor Lieberman: A Threat to Israeli Democracy...Continue Reading

Obama inauguration: An interfaith invocation to answer the critics

Summary: The choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation, and the drama surrounding it, was President-elect Barack Obama's latest carefully planned move to prove that he is not a far out liberal, but instead mainstream. Obama is good at the art of compromise, but also at improvisation. The liberal outcry that followed, and his addition of the openly gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson to join the party, continues to demonstrate his skill as political tai chi master. Reuters Blogs Author: Matthew Weiner Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Obama inauguration: An interfaith invocation to answer the critics...Continue Reading

Canada and the niqab: How to go public in the public square

Summary: A Canadian judge recently ruled that a Toronto Muslim woman must take off her face veil while giving testimony in a sexual assault trial. This tension between public space and private religion comes up repeatedly in western urban centers where Muslim women increasingly occupy the pubic square. Reuters Blogs Author: Sarah Sayeed and Matthew Weiner Staff: Sarah Sayeed, Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Canada and the niqab: How to go public in the public square...Continue Reading

Obama’s Interfaith Score Card

Summary: Obama gets a "B" for his first interfaith outing. Not bad for a beginner, so let's give him an "A" for effort. The Huffington Post Author: Matthew Weiner Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Obama's Interfaith Score Card...Continue Reading

Should interfaith efforts be free of proselytizing?

Summary: When liberal religious groups work together, it is assured that they agree on one thing: proselytizing is against the rules. The history of Christian evangelism has led to extreme sensitivity on this issue, especially amongst Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus. A Buddhist monk, who is also a parliamentarian in the Sri Lankan government, even introduced a bill to make proselytizing illegal. Liberal religious communities assume that in order to engage in honest dialogue, one cannot think one's faith is superior, let alone try to convince the other participants that one's religion is the only true faith. But there are problems with this assumption. Moreover, far more theologica...Continue Reading

Interfaith encounter at a Catholic school in Brooklyn

Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Interfaith encounter at a Catholic school in Brooklyn Author: Matthew Weiner and Raffaele Timarchi Summary: Why should students in urban high schools learn about religion? The Interfaith Center of New York recently received a call from Penny Kapanika, a social studies teacher at Nazareth Regional High School in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. Canarsie lies on the eastern edge of Brooklyn, next to Jamaica Bay. Reuters Blogs  ...Continue Reading

Mumbai violence brings New York faith groups together

Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Mumbai violence brings New York faith groups together Author: Matthew Weiner Summary: When terror attacks like those in Mumbai occur, many people of faith want to stand together despite their differences to condemn them with one voice. Reuters Blogs  ...Continue Reading

Neighborly, Reflective, Committed: New York City’s Muslims

Staff: Matthew Weiner Article Date: Article Name: Neighborly, Reflective, Committed: New York City's Muslims Author: Matthew Weiner Summary: In the city of Ground Zero, what are Muslims saying about cartoons? When I ask the question to Muslim friends, they tell me stories I wish more people could hear. Muslims in New York seem remarkably unconsumed by the cartoons, because well before 9/11 hey understood the need to be self-critical and work with the larger community to be part of our shared civic life. Of course they are concerned, just not consumed. Work goes on, some of which involves partnerships across religious lines, and such camaraderie is precious. As an interfaith organizer ...Continue Reading