Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Monthly Archives: November 2016

Rome Initiative Highlights Easing Middle East Tensions Through Business

28 Nov, 2016

A new initiative launched in Rome, Stand Together, aims to develop and disseminate stories of hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation. This includes highlighting how to advance interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace through business. allstandtogether

Two initiatives highlighted include:

An initiative to assist Iraqi refugee women: Baroness Emma Nicholson of the Amar Foundation has led the cause of helping displaced Iraqi women, regardless of faith or ethnicity, to cope with the horrendous atrocities of war, providing mental and physical health treatment and offering resources for recreation, education, and vocational training. A video illustratesBaroness Nicholson’s story and how her foundation helps Iraqi women of all faiths.

How to build an economy that goes beyond religious differences? Fouad Makhzoumi is the founder of the Makhzoumi Foundation, an initiative started in Lebanon aiming to foster sustainable economic development, contributing in this way to the development of Lebanese youth, regardless of creed. A video illustrates Fouad’s story and how his foundation helps Lebanese youth of all faiths.

The videos were produced by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, based in Washington D.C. Both Baroness Nicholson and Dr. Fouad Makhzoumi (picture below with RFBF President Brian Grim) are recipients of the 2016 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award, which recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding and peace. The Awards are a partnership initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), its Brazilian affiliate, the Associação pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios (ALRN), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace (B4P) platform.


Amazon Bridges Difference Through a Shared Problem

20 Nov, 2016

A new ad by Amazon filmed in the UK sees two old friends meet for a cup of tea and discover they share a problem.

USA Today reports that the “most surprising thing about Amazon’s latest ad for its Prime service is that it appears to be the first time a Muslim cleric has been featured in a television ad shown in the United States.”

Amazon claims that is wasn’t making “any kind of political statement and the subject had nothing to do with the recently concluded U.S. presidential election,” according to USA Today. They also report that the advertisement was already in the works in June according to Amazon’s European Union director of advertising, Simon Morris.

Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, notes that “Business is at the crossroads of culture, commerce and creativity. This means businesses have the resources to make the world more peaceful as well as the incentive to do so.”

amazon-ad-imageGrim goes on to say “such ads indeed show that business is good for interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace.”

Companies can make positive contributions to peace in society by mobilizing advertising campaigns that bring people of various faiths and backgrounds together, not only seen in the new Amazon commercial filmed in the UK, but also in a recent Coca-Cola commercial filmed in Pakistan and India.

The attention major corporations give to religion, while surprising, is understandable given that religion and believers contribute substantially to economies, as shown in a recent global study produced for a World Economic Forum GAC. And just this weekend, Fox Business News reported on the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s recent study documenting the $1.2 trillion faith economy of the United States.