Category: "Articles and Appearances by ICNY staff"

NY Community Leaders Address Controversy Over 9/11 Memorial Museum Film

On Wednesday, May 14, The Interfaith Center of New York hosted a press conference of New York community leaders to address the controversy over a 9/11 Memorial Museum film.  Press reports on the conference and this controversy have been published by Reports on the press conference appeared in all major U.S. media, as well as in countries around the world. Videos of each speakers' statements are available on our YouTube channel.  Speakers included Zaed Ramadan, board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – NY Chapter; Rev. Chloe Breyer; Haroon Moghul, National Security Expert; Talat Hamdani, mother of fallen 9/11 hero Salman Hamdani, Aisha AlAdawiya, Board Chair Emeritus, ...Continue Reading

Are Muslim Terrorists Islamic or Islamist? Dr. Sarah Sayeed argues they are neither

This article by Dr. Sarah Sayeed, ICNY's Director of Community Partnerships, was published in The Huffington Post on May 29, 2014.  The original article can be accessed here.   Islamic. Islamist. Muslim. People use these words to modify the nouns "terror" or "terrorism." Media describe Boko Haram's kidnapping of Nigerian girls by using "Islamic" and "Islamist." There is controversy over the 9/11 Memorial Museum's use of the term "Islamist" to describe Al Qaeda. Some may reduce these differences to semantics, but in actuality, Muslims distinguish these terms. One disconnect is that journalists, policy makers, and academics are using English and European terms to describe people who ...Continue Reading

A Conversation on Religious Pluralism at Regis High School

ICNY's Dr. Henry Goldshmidt (moderator), Tom Dobbins, Jr. and Dr. Mehnaz Afridi On Friday, May 16th, two leading faith-based social activists and educators spoke with Regis High School students about their efforts to build understanding, and foster collaboration, across religious lines.  Some highlights included Dr. Mehnaz Afridi (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College) talking about how people actively make pluralism happen; and Tom Dobbins, Jr. (Justice and Peace Coordinator in the Department of Social and Community Development of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York) speaking about th...Continue Reading

1 Minute Video Clip: Rev. Breyer on why the brief 9/11 Museum film poses such importance

"[The film is] the one thing in [the Museum] that suggests who to blame.  And to do that, it requires the kind of depth and nuance and sophistication that the rest of the museum has. It's a very delicate and difficult complex question, and they don't go anywhere near addressing it." Videos of all speakers at the press conference are available here:  ...Continue Reading

Religious Pluralism and Interfaith Understanding: A Conversation with Students at Regis High School

On Friday, May 16th, two leading faith-based social activists and educators will speak with Regis students about their efforts to build understanding, and foster collaboration, across religious lines. What, they will ask, do their own Muslim and Catholic traditions have to say about religious pluralism and interfaith relations? How has their participation in interfaith coalitions for social justice helped to shape, and perhaps deepen, their personal faith? What do they see as the most important issues calling for interfaith collaboration in today’s New York? How can young New Yorkers help address these issues? Our speakers will open the program with brief remarks, and leave plenty of time fo...Continue Reading

“Not Your Typical Rubber Chicken Dinner” – ICNY’s Interfaith Matters blog, by Ellen Greeley

  By Ellen Greeley, ICNY Development Director Galas in New York are notorious for serving bland food and known for dull dinner conversations. The exception to the rule is the James Parks Morton Interfaith Awards Dinner.  Of course I am biased being the development director for the last four years at ICNY and tasked with coordinating the dinner, but ask any of our patrons and they will tell you that our dinners have been far from ordinary. Take for instance, the dress code.  You will not find tuxedos and formal attire, but instead notice the elegantly flowing saris, African patterned dresses, and glistening head scarves and prayer caps.  Diverse religious leaders representing over 15 diffe...Continue Reading

NYPD honors ICNY’s Dr. Sarah Sayeed for her service to immigrant communities in NYC

NYPD Community Appreciation Day: Celebrating Immigrant Heritage On April 23rd, Sarah Sayeed, Director of Community Partnerships was among 23 people recognized, and received a plaque from the NYPD “in recognition of their selfless dedication and service to the immigrant community of New York City and continued support of the New York City Police Department.” Each person also received a City Council citation signed by Council Member Jumaane D. Williams and a citation signed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.  The event was sponsored by the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau New Immigrant Outreach Unit and held at Brooklyn Borough Hall....Continue Reading

Letter to National September 11 Memorial & Museum, regarding concerns over film “The Rise of al-Qaeda”

April 21, 2014 Alice M. Greenwald Executive Vice President for Programs & Director of Memorial Museum National September 11 Memorial & Museum 200 Liberty Street, 16th Floor New York, NY 10281 Dear Ms. Greenwald: From our 2002 founding, New York Disaster Interfaith Service’s (NYDIS) federation of over sixty member faith communities have served the disaster human services needs of New York City.  Although dozens of crises have impacted our City over the past thirteen years, NYDIS has held dear a unique long-term focus on caring for 9/11 victim families, and providing direct services to tens of thousands of survivors, residents and health-impacted recovery workers. The inv...Continue Reading

Tragedy in Kansas City

On the eve of Passover, we are horrified by the news that a child and two adults were murdered outside the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City in Kansas City, MO by a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and notorious anti-Semite. This Passover celebration honoring freedom and taking place in Jewish homes around the world is tainted by yesterday's tragedy. May Jews and non-Jews alike redouble all their efforts to make these holy days ahead a time of peace, non-violence and understanding--and may we all commit to vigilance against hatred of all kinds. For more information see: Reading

Interfaith Women Discuss Creation Stories and “Journey of the Universe” Film

By Dr. Sarah SayeedICNY Director of Community Partnerships Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreats for Social Justice Muslim-Catholic Initiatives You might be surprised to learn that ICNY runs a women’s interfaith dialogue group.  Initially formed in 2010, the group is an offshoot of our Catholic-Muslim Social Action Partnership; the Catholic and Muslim women who came together initially wanted to expand to include Jewish women.  The group meets roughly once a month (taking a break for summer and for religious observances), and has discussed a range of topics, including spiritual journeys, health, and forgiveness.  Anywhere from 8-15 women attend the meetings.  More recently, the group h...Continue Reading