In helfman, Our Virtual Mishkan

The Value of Interfaith Relationships

I received two emails this week that made me angry, and I wish I had never received them. They both were by Muslim faith leaders, decrying the murderous violence we have seen in Europe this week.

The notes were strongly worded, thoughtful and predictable, saying that true religion – true Islam – condones no violence. Crying out against attacks at and near places of worship. And asking the European governments to be careful in their own responses.

So why was I angry? 

There is so much more going on in the world right now – and these faith leaders felt compelled to speak out, for fear that if they did not speak out others would ask ‘Where were the moderate Muslims?’ thought no one turns and asks ‘Where were the moderate Christians?’, after attacks by Christians.

That our local Imams, incredible men of faith and kindness, felt they needed to speak up, is a statement of our society –  looking to apply a different standard to minority groups than it does majority groups.

Of course, our fellow faith leaders denounce violence. Of course, our fellow Canadians are outraged at what they see being done in the name of religion.

If you want to meet these leaders and others, come and talk at our interfaith meeting, November 11 at 7:30 pm. 

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  • Michael Firestone

    Rabbi Jordan,
    Contrary to your statement, I believe that if a Christian or a Jew were to commit such a heinous act in the name of Judaism or Christianity, the respective leaders would speak out. It is not that these acts are being carried out by Muslims, it is that they are carrying them out in the name of Islam and that should be condemned by the religious leaders. It is only too bad that leaders of other groups do not speak out when atrocious acts are carried out by their followers.

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