Wave of Islamophobic & Anti-Semitic Actions Sweep the US

Islamophobic and Anti-Semitic attacks are skyrocketing, and while the US Senate and Trump have denounced these attacks, public outcries have been less evident and there has been a subtle ‘normalization.’ This post summarizes the issue and provides info about an important Interfaith Panel on April 6.

We need to be cautious about what we allow ourselves to get used to. With the onslaught of bills in the US Congress, new de-regulations, and offensive appointments, it is easy to see how we might become inured. This is the way it will be for awhile. Indeed, as Naomi Klein has described in Shock Doctrine, this kind of assault is designed to weary us into acquiescence. Nowhere is it more important for us to NOT become wearied and accustomed is in relation to assaults on our immigrants, our Black, Native, Muslim, and Jewish neighbors. Assaults come in all forms: deportation, desecration, and even in private conversation among friends. It is imperative that all manifestations of xenophobia, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia are called out. Retake has taken strong positions in alliance with indigenous populations at Standing Rock and Chaco Canyon. We have formed alliances with Somos Un Pueblo Unido and Santa Fe Dreamers in support of our immigrant neighbors. It is vital that we now form similar alliances with our Jewish and Muslim neighbors who are subject to an onslaught of desecrations and assaults. Retake Our Democracy will host an extraordinary Interfaith Panel on April 6, the first in a series of panels to deepen our understanding of different faiths, different cultures, and different perspectives. (See more info below, or get your free tickets by clicking here.) I recommend that you consider making this an Affinity Group outing. Reach out to some friends and go as a group, perhaps having dinner beforehand to talk about ways you can get more involved in the resistance and reconstruction to follow.

Xenophobia Comes in Many Forms &
All Are Entirely Unacceptable

“In the ten days following Trump’s victory, the Southern Poverty Law Center chronicled one hundred attacks—or threatened attacks—against American Jews and 49 against American Muslims. In its survey, which encompassed the period between election day and February 9, the progressive news site ThinkProgress counted 70 anti-Jewish incidents and 31 anti-Muslim ones. The ratio of anti-Jewish to anti-Muslim incidents, in other words, appears slightly over two to one, which mirrors the ratio of Jews to Muslims in the population.” Click here for the full Truthout report. And while 100 Senators have joined Trump in demanding a response to these attacks (click here for report), precious little has resulted in terms of an actual response. In the absence of such a response, we are left with this from the Truthout report:

“The negligence and contempt from the Trump administration for Jews, Muslims, immigrants, queer people and all those vulnerable in this alarming new reality in the US seem to truly know no bounds. Sure, President Trump has come around to offering lip service condemnations of these anti-Semitic acts. But these words ring hollow while in the meantime, he appoints white supremacists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites into positions of power. It’s an understatement to say his actions betray his words.”

Beyond the appointments of brazen white supremacists, Trump has been entirely silent about attacks on innocent Muslims and has also explicitly surfaced the concept that Jews could be responsible for the desecration of their own graveyards. For more on how dangerous these ‘false flags’ claims by Trump can be, click here. Finally, these actions are even more prevalent in Europe as the Western world seems to be locking in step to music informed by misinformation and a drumbeat of unwarranted fear. For a report on xenophobia in Europe, click here.

Taken together, it is clear that in addition to a persistent campaign of misinformation and lies, there is at work an unsubtle effort to pit us against each other, to find the devil in those we do not know or understand. To counter this, Retake is offering this Interfaith Panel on Finding Common Ground. This is an opportunity to hear from six different faith leaders, to share our concerns and our fears, and to begin finding common moral ground and even more importantly, common moral action. It is not enough to understand that we are being pilloried with offenses, we must resist those offenses. See below for details on the Interfaith Panel…and please note that while free, seats are only guaranteed to those with tickets, so sign up today. If you really want to help promote this event, click the link: April 6 Panel Flyer for a pdf of the flyer for the event and share it with your friends, post it at your favorite cafe or shop.

Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear: An Interfaith Panel on Finding Common Moral Ground

Thurs. April 6, 7-9pm, Temple Beth Shalom, 205 East Barcelona Rd, Santa Fe. This event is FREE, but you must have a ticket to enter. Register and get tickets online at Eventbrite:  http://bit.ly/2lXSmX

The rhetoric and actions of the current U.S. Administration have been disturbing on many levels: threats of banning entire religions from entering the country, mass deportation of others, an alarming rise in intolerance and violence against immigrants and communities of certain faiths, and an overall surge in narrow-mindedness and bigotry. Many of our friends and neighbors feel threatened, unsafe, and marginalized because of who they are or what they believe. Listen and participate in a discussion of how communities of faith can help us find common moral ground that unites us, protects us, and builds a powerful force for justice.

Panelists:

  • Reverend Dr. Antonio Aja, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Rabbi Neil Amswych, Temple Beth Shalom
  • Imam Abdul Aziz Eddebbarh, Chairman, Ibn Asheer Islamic Institute
  • Singh Sahib Krishna Singh Khalsa, Sikh Dharma Ministry
  • Deacon Anthony Trujillo, San Isidro Roman Catholic Church
  • Reverend Blaine Wimberly, Zia United Methodist Church

Moderator:  Reverend Gail Marriner, Unitarian Universalist Church

 

 

 

 

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