Shoulder-to-Shoulder is an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace. In this episode, Catherine Orsborn joins us to help us understand what “anti-Muslim bigotry” is, why it harms everyone (not just Muslims), and how everyday people can participate in building and maintaining and more robust and diverse civic space.
In her experiencing working alongside communities combating hatred, terrorism, and lack of understanding, Orborn brings an understanding of how Muslim Americans are working to better their communities, how non-Muslims can be good neighbors and allies, and how religious and ethical leaders can provide advocacy at the national level.
Ways to listen to this episode:
In this episode, we discuss:
- What you can do to help end anti-Muslim sentiment
- Definitions including “Islamophobia,” and “anti-Muslim bigotry”
- How anti-Muslim bigotry—and peace and justice movements—grew in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks
- Why it’s important to lead alongside marginalized groups, as co-learners not leaders
- How to build consensus in congregations and communities to spread accurate education and opportunities for honest engagement
Top 3 takeaways from this week’s episode:
1. “This is a problem for all of us.”
We are wrong if we think that anti-Muslim bigotry only affects Muslims. Whether or not you are religious, atheist, or secular humanist, and whether you are part of a majority or minority community—when hateful rhetoric and hate crimes mar our civic landscape, all of us are affected. And all of us need to be part of the solution.'This is a problem for all of us.' Listen now: Click To Tweet
2. “We should be compelled.”
Nearly every religious or ethical tradition implores us to love our neighbor, to welcome the stranger, to not bear false witness. In this conversation, we explore what that means when it comes to standing up against violence and bigotry. How can our individual ethical and spiritual traditions inform the political work we undertake?'We should be compelled.' Listen now: Click To Tweet
3. “A lot of people aren’t comfortable with the hate.”
Every day, many of us bemoan a more civilized discourse—a time when news anchors and family members alike spoke with respect and integrity. And yet, when we find many interactions (large and small, international and personal) to be marked with hyperbole and contempt. Why have things changed? What will it take to practice more open and humane ways of interacting?'A lot of people aren't comfortable with the hate.' Listen now: Click To Tweet
Mentioned on the episode:
- Shoulder to Shoulder: http://www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org/
- Resources for religious/ethical organizations and educators, including Learning About Islam and resources for communities: http://www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org/resources/
- Link to Sign the Shoulder to Shoulder Pledge: http://www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org/events-and-initiatives/initiatives/sign-our-pledge/
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA): http://www.isna.net/
- Information about the Park 51 Community Center (the so-called Ground Zero Mosque):
- Article on the Murfreesboro [TN] mosque vandalism/hate act: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/07/10/murfreesboro-mosque-defaced-graffiti-bacon/466122001/
- Information on Quran desecration, including events by a nondenominational church in Florida:
- Explanation and legal information on “anti-Sharia laws”:
- On treating racism like a public health issue: https://medium.com/amplify/confronting-implicit-bias-a-remedy-for-the-public-health-issue-of-racism-9442578366cd
How to connect with Catherine and with us:
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About the Podcast
In Times Like These explores the difficult spaces we humans navigate in culture and religion, in dialogue and doubt. We talk to voices from the field, in law, activism, civil rights, and from places of struggle and places of deep learning. In Times Like These, we unpack the most troubling issues of politics and faith we face, together.
In Times Like These is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes and is a CLU Live production by Claremont Lincoln University.