Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Interfaith panel – promoting unity between people of different creeds

From left to right, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Reverend James Martin, S.J. and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Photo by Karen X. Fritsche
From left to right, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Reverend James Martin, S.J. and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders have been working together to try to calm anti-Muslim rhetoric down and redirect the conversation. But after the killing of 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, nearly one in three respondents to a recent survey agreed that “Muslims are mostly responsible for creating the religious tension that exists in the United States today.” This, according to a new national poll from Ohio State University. Imam Rauf, the New Yorker who sparked controversy over plans to build a mosque near ground zero, said he believed bin Laden’s death might ease tensions that still exist. Rauf has since curtailed his involvement in the Manhattan project known as Park51. Now, he’s contemplating the creation of an interfaith community center in the same area in an effort to promote unity between people of all faiths. Today we’ll talk with three religious leaders about these efforts. Has tolerance of other faiths grown or dissipated post 9/11? How do these religious leaders tend to their congregations when faced with such tragedy? And how does religion speak to the randomness of innocent lives lost?

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders have been working together to try to calm anti-Muslim rhetoric down and redirect the conversation. But after the killing of 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, nearly one in three respondents to a recent survey agreed that “Muslims are mostly responsible for creating the religious tension that exists in the United States today.” This, according to a new national poll from Ohio State University. Imam Rauf, the New Yorker who sparked controversy over plans to build a mosque near ground zero, said he believed bin Laden’s death might ease tensions that still exist. Rauf has since curtailed his involvement in the Manhattan project known as Park51. Now, he’s contemplating the creation of an interfaith community center in the same area in an effort to promote unity between people of all faiths. Today we’ll talk with three religious leaders about these efforts. Has tolerance of other faiths grown or dissipated post 9/11? How do these religious leaders tend to their congregations when faced with such tragedy? And how does religion speak to the randomness of innocent lives lost?

Guests:

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, an Orthodox rabbi; President of CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York City; author of You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism (Harmony, Jan. 2008); Ranked two years in a row in the "Top 50 Rabbis in America" in Newsweek

Reverend James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, the culture editor of America, the national Catholic magazine, and author of several books including Searching for God at Ground Zero (Sheed & Ward, 2002), which contains Martin's reflections on God, evil, love and hope as he ministered to rescue workers at ground zero in the days following the 9/11 attacks

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder and CEO of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA Society); former Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a mosque in New York City, twelve blocks from ground zero

Stay Connected