Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Beneath Big Ben, a lone terrorist carried out a deadly daylight attack at the British Parliament this Wednesday. ISIS claimed responsibility.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby offered prayers and characterized the terrorist as “perverted, nihilistic, despairing,” contrasting him with the devotion shown by those who cared for the injured. Indeed, the Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack as a perversion and offered prayers for the victims.
The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Nichols, also offered prayers for the victims, which included a constable, a mother on her way to pick up her children from a local Catholic school, and an American visitor from Utah celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary.
Cardinal Nichols also issued a plea, which points to how terror becomes a threat to the religious freedoms of all, not just our Muslim neighbors:
“Let our voice be one of prayer, of compassionate solidarity, and of calm. All who believe in God, Creator and Father of every person, will echo this voice, for faith in God is not a problem to be solved, but a strength and a foundation on which to depend.”
As terror represents one man’s “perverted, nihilistic, despairing” version of religion, secular societies might conclude that religion itself is the problem.
Read below for what the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is doing in Britain and worldwide to address this challenge to religious freedom posed by terror.
Brian, RFBF President
Religious Freedom & Business Foundation initiatives in Britain that directly address the challenge posed by terror to religious freedom, include: (1) dissemination of research on the value of faith; (2) interfaith action to build social cohesion; (3) recognition of champions of interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace; and (4) interfaith dialogue at the highest levels.
Research: Value of Faith
The Guardian’s story on our research was shared 18,500 times. By contrast, its headline story announcing that Donald Trump wins presidential election was shared about 17,100 times.
We are piloting a social cohesion and enterprise initiative that builds bridges between young adults of different faith backgrounds. Sir Alex Ferguson (of Manchester United) recently helped us celebrate!
Champions of Peace
At the UK Parliament, site of the recent terror attack, we celebrated the significant contributions to religious freedom & peace of Baroness Nicholson and Lebanese industrialist Dr. Fouad Makhzoumi.
High Level Dialogue
RFBF is facilitating high level dialogue in London and Washington DC for interfaith leaders from Indonesia to introduce what they argue is a model of moderate Islam.