News items relating to religious tolerance and information
||2008-APR-04: MA: Inter-faith gathering to express concern about
religious vandalism: The The Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts
in West Springfield, MA, has recently been the target of three
hate-motivated attacks. Their building and a van in their parking lot were
damaged by large rocks. They also received threatening phone calls. The
local police do not regard the attacks as hate crimes because there was no
graffiti left. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports on a
"People of different faiths gathered in front of the Islamic Center
yesterday to express support and censure the violence that the center
has suffered in recent days. 'When you hurt, we feel the pain, too,'
said Rabbi Jerome S. Gurland, one of several local religious leaders who
addressed the crowd of more than 150 people. The vigil was a show of
solidarity with the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, whose
center recently was the site of three attacks and threatening phone
"Islamic Society president M. Saleem Bajwa welcomed all. 'This gives
us a feeling that we are not alone,' he said. 'For the past 10 days, our
Islamic Center has been the target of a campaign of hatred and
harassment'. He said those who vandalized the center are doing a
disservice not just to the center, but to the whole community. 'This is
serious business, and we want (the law enforcement community) to reach
to the bottom of this crime,' he said. Islamic Center members are not
angry, Bajwa said. 'We are sad, and we are fearful. We are willing to
live in peace,' he said. 'The Islamic religion stresses peace, love and
||2008-APR-15: Lebanon: Public more
hopeful that religious conflict will not resume: Lebanese citizens were
asked whether they thought a renewal of conflict in their country was
likely. Most were generally optimistic. Typical comments:|
||"There wont' be a civil war, because the
Lebanese took a lesson from the first war and we know it did not have a
good effect on our families."
||"Before there was a civil war between
Muslims and Christians, but now Muslims and Christians are friends and
brothers. Muslims and Christians are not divided like before."
||"Thirty years ago people did not know
better, but they know better now. If we fight now, we'll lose everything
that we gained in the past few years after the war. ... Maybe if our
leaders change there won't be a civil war for sure."
||"People blindly follow their leaders,
without questioning their background or that they committed war crimes.
The majority of our leaders have committed war crimes. There will be a
new civil war because our leaders commit violent acts and we have become
the victims of their acts. They put war thinking in Lebanese minds."
||"A civil war depends on the international
situation. The way international politics plays will determine what
happens here in Lebanon."
||"No one here wants war. All the war
attitudes come from the outside. Every day you hear how rockets and guns
are imported into Lebanon. We only need Lebanese to control things. We
need Lebanon to be independent."
||"A civil war might break out if a regional
war between America, Syria, Israel and Iran is to happen. The US has
enough problems in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Lebanese are sick of
Links to religious news sources:
||Links to lists of general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and
non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on
this web site.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
- ""Religious community holds vigil after vandalism," CAIR news briefs,
Kenneth Changpertitum, "Muslims and Christians are not divided like before,"
The Daily Star, 2008-APR-14, at:
Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2008-APR-04
Latest update: 2008-APR-15
Compiler: B.A. Robinson