The Rev. Ben Daniel, pastor of Foothill Presbyterian Church on the East Side of San Jose wrote an article for the San Jose Mercury last Friday. Recalling our local interfaith gathering on October 6th, he pointed out that we still have a long way to go before we can realize full religious pluralism. One of the great challenges to interfaith understanding lies in the misconceptions that many people have of Islam and Muslims.
Addressing the common belief that Islam is at heart a violent religion, Rev. Daniel notes:
It is true that the chances of having a random encounter with a member of the world”s Muslim community who is also terrorist are probably better than are the chances of being dealt a straight flush in five-card stud, but not by much. And while the State Department”s numbers are imprecise, it is interesting also to note that according to the same report, non-Muslim terrorists outnumber Muslim terrorists nearly 4-to-1 worldwide.”
Rev. Daniel has been a member of the local interreligious dialogue group sponsored through the Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice, and has been involved in a dialogue group that includes local Presbyterian and Jewish leaders. Thanks to Ben for speaking out so clearly.
- Despite our diversity, Muslims remain misunderstood. San Jose Mercury, November 4