Opinion

Margari Aziza Hill: A time of interfaith mass movement

Margari Aziza Hill. Courtesy photo

RNS asked some of the country’s top faith leaders, scholars and activists to consider what changes the religion landscape will see in 2018. Find all their predictions here.

Four years ago, I joined an email exchange that would begin the launch of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC). I tweeted out to hundreds to join a hashtag conversation #BeingBlackAndMuslim during Black History Month and, together, we started a movement discussing race and faith. Since co-founding MuslimARC to address intersections of systemic racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, I have come to work closely with faith-based organizations such as IMAN, Bend the Arc and PICO. Leaders such as William Barber II, Rami Nashashibi, Stosh Cotler, Kameelah Mu’min Rashad and Valarie Kaur have been taking their liberation theology to the streets.

They are just a few examples of faith leaders who will continue to rise to the forefront in 2018. Importantly, 2018 will be a time when more people of faith will come together to build collective power. 2018 will be a year where interfaith work will be about recalibrating our nation’s moral and ethical social agenda.

2018 will be the year that churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, Gurdwaras and sacred spaces will work together to protect the most vulnerable. I see more people of faith coming together motivated to heal the divides and ugliness not just in their societies, but in their neighborhoods. 2018 will be the year that faith-based organizing will no longer be an aberration. I see faith leaders reaching across the aisle, pushing back against the nativism, xenophobia and partisanship. 2018 will be more investment in faith-based organizing, moving policies, healing on a city-wide, county-wide, state-wide and national level. City councils, state representatives, and government officials will get more calls and visits from people in congregations.

You’ll hear more about the wins from alternative media outlets and social media. So while the big media outlets won’t cover multi-faith movement making, movement is happening.

Margari Aziza Hill is the co-founder and co-director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a human rights education organization.

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12 Comments

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  • Until the Koran and bible are recognized as books supporting terror and violence, 2018 will be no different from the 24/7 religious supported violence of previous centuries.

  • none of the religions, of the world are worship the same g-ds. you, are being deceived if you are tricked into believing you are. there, are cults trying to use you as their useful idiots.

    there, would be no violence between religions worshiping THE ONE TRUE G-D, here in THEIR Story of The Creation again.

  • The Bible commanded violence as a course of action at specific dates/times/circumstances, but commands peace-making as an ongoing mission. The Koran commanded violence both in the past, and as an ongoing mission. Regardless of your beliefs, please don’t try to equivicate the two, it simply can’t be done.

  • I predict it will be a year of UNDERSTANDING the “TRUE MEANING” of the HOLY BOOKS which has nothing to do with this “world” and everything to do with our INNER WORLD, hence the Kingdom of God is within us: ALL stories in the Bible are about our inner journey, beginning with the “LIGHT” of the creator that MUST BE BORN (begotten) through our heart (This is the Christmas stories real meaning): If that light isn’t yet in the heart, there is no CONNECTION to GOD no matter what you call God or how you “PERCEIVE” him with your mind. The mind must become subordinate to the heart but first the heart must bring the LIGHT into this world because from here is MANS true DESIRE. Once this happens, NO MAN will need to say “KNOW GOD” for all shall know him, from the least to the greatest and then religion will be a tradition we keep because we choose to or it makes us feel more connected to people, but we will not “USE” religion for our egoism or agenda’s to take over another persons heart and mind, because they all have their OWN CONNECTION to God already:

  • Please list the commands in the bible that dictate peace as ongoing mission and don’t forget to include a review of the Book of Revelation.

  • Revelation does indeed have some violence, but as it’s a prophetic narrative describing the last day (the final judgement) and not a set of directives, it has no place in a conversation regarding standard operating procedure for believers at this time. An actual directive concerning how the Christian is to live in peace can be seen here, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18) as well as other places.

    Again, narratives of one-time historical (or prophetic) events cannot be equivocated with a standing order for adherents to commit not only violence, but murder.

  • ◄ Matthew 10:34 ►

    New International Version
    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    ◄ Luke 12:51 ►

    New International Version
    Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.

    New Living Translation
    Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!

  • An honest reading of the context makes it ABUNDANTLY clear that Christ is referring to doctrinal division, not a directive for physical violence. Theological division/strife isn’t comparable to the physical violence mandated by the Koran.

  • Doctrinal? Give us a break!! Putting it all together from Matt 10 and Luke 12:

    “Do you] think that I have come to hurl peace on earth?
    I did not come to hurl peace, but a sword!
    For I have come to divide son against father,
    [and] daughter and her mother,
    [and] daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law”

  • You are taking individual sentences out of their context & stringing them together in an attempt to make a new context, all while ignoring accepted norms of speech (such as metaphors) that I’m sure you yourself use everyday. Not only are each of those passages clearly doctrinal (when read in context), not one of them is a prescriptive teaching. Even in the out of context, cut-n-paste sample you just offered we see one person speaking in present and past tense, not a directive (and even then it isn’t referring to physical violence). These passages are obviously doctrinal, which is probably why in my decades spent in the Christian world I have never once heard them used to promote violence. In fact, I’ve never heard of unbelievers trying to stretch them into a violent mandate either (before I interacted with you). I think my point has been made, and furthermore, if you will be intellectually honest with yourself, I think you know it.

    If you have a dislike of the Bible for another reason, it is my hope that you will admit that (if not publicly, at least to yourself). To continue equivocating the Bible and Koran as having the same directives regarding ongoing violence is simply to promote that which is demonstrably untrue.

    I’m done with our interaction here as I see no profit in it for either of us nor any who might stumble upon this dialogue. It’s my hope you will examine your feeling toward Scripture and maybe even try to read an entire book of it (perhaps the book of John) with fresh eyes and an open mind. Toss out what you have been told it says and look for yourself what it really says.

    Have a good evening.

  • “Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three
    gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in
    works of late date. John’s Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a
    source……

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

    “Since “the higher criticism” of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] “[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,”[5] and date it to 90-100.”

    “The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship
    to John the Apostle.”

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his
    book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

    “Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. “

  • me do not believe in interfaith wich i was part in the past inter church bud now believe that rome is the city of the antichrist build seven hills in a countru with most missing children ineurope and what also happen in states where the white house is a replica of the vatican in architecture both countries lot choildren are missing used in satan worship rome was 500 before christ a ufo station airport a cty of fallen angels!!! of who is said that they creayed the moslim religion because there were to many diffrent christian sects and rome wanted ONE church IT IS A church of fallen angels!!! as soon the temple is rebuild elia and moses wil came back and pray for plagues for all rwfusing christ nations

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