Welcoming Muslim neighbors in Ramadan
COVER STORY—More than a billion Muslims are preparing for the holy fasting month of Ramadan and, this week, we are urging readers to reach out in a friendly way to Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers. Start with this news from the Michigan State University School of Journalism about easy ways you can combat stereotypes where you live and work.
LEARN ABOUT RAMADAN—Holiday expert Stephanie Fenton writes about the sacred traditions of the fasting month and reports news from the latest Ramadan apps to a good source for traditional break-the-fast recipes. Also, for a more in-depth exploration of this month, including health-care issues related to Ramadan, you’ll want Najah Bazzi’s The Beauty of Ramadan.
New Facts about Muslims
OUR VALUES—Did you know that, right now, Christians far outnumber Muslims around the world—but by 2050 our populations will be equal? And, Christians share many of the same beliefs—and tough challenges—faced by Muslims around the world. These are just a few of the important findings from new research that can help us chart a more peaceful course in our world. That is, if … we talk about these truths with friends and spread the word. That’s something OurValues urges you to do.
- PART 1—Why is Islam growing so rapidly?
- PART 2—Are Muslims harassed more than Christians?
- PART 3—How many adherents leave Islam?
- PART 4—Where do Muslims live in the U.S.?
- PART 5—Are Muslims underrepresented in the U.S. Congress?
- Just catching up with OurValues? Dr. Baker’s most recent series are about our changing moral code as Americans (we’re moving “left”) and also our growing belief as Americans that animals have rights, too.
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
DON’T MISS ONE! Tell friends about www.InterfaithHolidays.com
- DREAMING OF IONA? Thousands of Christian pilgrims arrive on the tiny island west of Scotland each year. This week’s Feast of St. Columba means that the summer-through-autumn retreat season is in full swing on little Iona.
- CELEBRATE SUMMER! Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton provides a spirited overview of summer holidays and special themes: You’ll learn about Great Outdoors Month, Hot Dog Month and the centuries-old tradition of Midsummer.
- FLAG DAY—Stephanie Fenton has fun facts and do-it-yourself links for U.S. Flag Day. Do you know who got fired up as the semi-official American sparkplug promoting this holiday? Do you know when our American flag was last changed? Stephanie has the news you can share with friends.
- DISNEY’S 60th ANNIVERSARY—This year is the 60 anniversary of Walt’s daring leap onto daily TV with The Mickey Mouse Club and the opening of Disneyland, as well. ReadTheSpirit’s Editor David Crumm writes about a three-generation spiritual pilgrimage his family undertook to Disney World. Then, GodSigns author Suzy Farbman shares some all-time favorite lines from Disney characters.
- RAMADAN—The month-long fast starts at sunset on June 17 and, for non-Muslims, provides new possibilities for all of us to improve interfaith relationships. It’s our Cover Story this week, above.
INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—International peacemaker Daniel Buttry looks at three heroes who shaped our values as Americans.
- FREDERICK DOUGLASS—A powerful voice for abolition in his day—and for equality to this day.
- DOROTHY DAY—She lived a radically simple life in her pursuit of a more peaceful world.
- GRIMKE SISTERS—Everyone should know about these pioneering sisters who were activists for equality long before the idea was popular.
FILM, FAITH AND POPULAR CULTURE
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty.
- SLOW WEST—The blend of drama and violence reminds Ed of Macbeth. It’s a powerful tale of the American frontier. (4.5 out of 5 stars) In contrast, violence doesn’t serve a nobler purpose in Mad Max. (2.5 stars)
- NEW ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL—In addition to his extensive free movie reviews, Ed sells a monthly journal packed with complete study guides for small groups and classes.
- WHERE HOPE GROWS—This Christian film has its flaws, but it’s worth watching, Ed says. (3 stars)
- ROGER WILLIAMS—Fans of the Baptist pioneer, an early American advocate of religious freedom, will want to find this 4.5-star documentary, produced in 2002, Ed says. Williams currently is honored in Interfaith Peacemakers.
- FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD—The latest remake of this classic is pretty good, Ed says. (4 stars)
FAITH GOES POP—The creative mind of www.FaithGoesPop.com columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
Good media builds healthy communities …
FAIR FOOD NETWORK—Have you heard about this small but rapidly growing idea? The Fair Food Network wants to make it possible for low-income families to afford more fresh, locally grown produce. FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis explains the origins of this program. And, of course there’s a recipe! This week, she shares strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s still “rhubarb season,” so share this important story—and preheat your oven for some delicious baking.
MEET THE VETS EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT—The Michigan State University veterans project, launched by students at the MSU School of Journalism, is far bigger than a single new book. Headline news about the project has appeared in more than 200 media outlets. The title is 100 Questions and Answers About Veterans, but the “book” really is a nationwide multimedia effort packaged in book form. Read our first story about the project—and see some videos included in the book. You’ll also enjoy our story about “The Hat”—the baseball cap worn by an ever-shrinking number of WWII veterans.
GOD SIGNS—Every week, veteran journalist Suzie Farbman (author GodSigns) brings us a new story designed to open our eyes to creative, hopeful possibilities in our world. This week, she tells the story of art dealer Pavel Zoubok.
BOB ALPER—The author of Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This continues to criss-cross the nation. Any chance you’ll be in Vermont or Cape Cod this month? On June 17, he’s performing in Proctor, VT. Then, he’s performing this month at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.
A MAJOR NEW REVIEW—Ken Wilson and the Third Way Newsletter team are celebrating a major review of Ken’s book A Letter to My Congregation. The new piece was written by Tim Keller, an influential “pastor of pastors,” as Ken puts it in his response to Keller’s piece. And, yes, Ken’s column includes a link to read Tim’s original article, as well. (The www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.)
DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind will play a key role at the Atlanta Reformation Project Conference June 11-13 with Matthew Vines. Tickets are still available. The conference is a national gathering of Christians working toward inclusion with LGBT men and women. For more details, click here or on the Reformation image.