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Resources on Islam for Sermons & Education

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University www.pluralism.org

A reliable source of information about major religions in the world and increasing religious diversity in the US. http://pluralism.org/religions/.

The Pluralism Project also publishes Case Studies that allow participants to practice problem-solving around questions raised by increased religious diversity. Case studies of local interest are: “Invitation to a Tri-Faith Neighborhood” (Omaha), and “Sister Mary and the Muslim Doctors” (Sioux Falls), both available online at http://pluralism.org/casestudy/selected-case-studies/.

A Common Word between Us and You” is an open letter originally signed by 138 Islamic scholars representing every major Islamic tradition, and addressed to Christians everywhere. It describes the common call found in their scriptures to work for peace. Since 2007 hundreds of Islamic and Christian leaders and scholars from around the world have added their signatures and thousands have used the document as a resource for interfaith dialogue. http://www.acommonword.com/

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) http://www.isna.net/ is the largest umbrella group of the Muslim community in the United States. Among their resources are position statements, including one that explains why terrorism and religious extremism are forbidden by Islam http://www.isna.net/isnas-position-statements/

Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life http://www.pewforum.org/. A trusted source for news about religions in the United States and how they interact with public life. You can sign up for their excellent newsfeed at http://www.pewforum.org/religion-in-the-news/.

DVD series: “Discover Islam.” https://www.discoverislam.com/. The non-profit organization Discover Islam has partnered with several church denominations nationwide to provide this 6-video, award-winning documentary free of cost to congregations. Partnering denominations include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, and The Episcopal Church. An excellent introduction to Islam and the faith and practices of American Muslims. The ELCA has produced a study guide for each video. See trailers and download study guides free at https://www.discoverislam.com/elca. To request a free set of DVD’s, click on Checkout at the bottom of the same page. Or email info@discoverislam.com.

Good place to start for those who know very little about Islam. Includes information about what Muslims believe and how we can work to build relationships across lines of faith. Features seventeen Islamic and Christian scholars, including: Hans Küng (Islam: Past, Present and Future), Brian McLaren (Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?), Eboo Patel (Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim), Stephen Prothero (God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter) and Feisal Abdul Rauf (What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America). Five sessions on one DVD with downloadable facilitator guide and reader. From Living the Questions.

DVD: Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Directed by Gerald Krell

This PBS documentary compares similarities and differences in religious beliefs and practices between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and traces their common roots to Abraham. Also examines how people of goodwill in the Abrahamic faith communities are coming to terms with historical conflicts that impact us today, and the crisis of the fundamentalist approach to religious pluralism. (Available on Amazon)

Article identifying anti-Muslim organizations:

It is difficult to know which internet sites to trust because there is a flood of misinformation online generated by the Islamophobia industry. A majority of the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US has been traced back to a core group of 10 hard-liners and a small group of foundations and individuals that finance them. A brief report that can help you recognize them is: “Jihad Against Islam,” by Robert Steinback, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Summer, 2011 http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/summer/jihad-against-islam.

Books:

Chittister, Joan and Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti, Rabbi Arthur Waskow. The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006). Easy-to-read, good for adult ed.

Eck, Diana L. A New Religious America: How a Christian Country Has Become the World’s Most Religiously Diverse Nation (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 2001).

Idliby, Ranya and Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner. The Faith Club: A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding (New York: Free Press, 2007). Conversational, good for a book club.

Patel, Eboo. Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America (Boston: Beacon Press, 2012).

Peace, Jennifer Howe, and Or Rose and Gregory Mobley, editors. My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2012). Easy-to-read, good for book club.

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