The Spring 2016 issue of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies features a special section on Islamophobia. The content is inspired by and drawn from a national Conference on Religious Freedom and Islamophobia which the Dialogue Institute hosted and co-sponsored, along with the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy and Peace Catalyst International, October 6-8, 2015.
The conference was a gathering of approximately 40 Evangelical Christian leaders from around the country (representing a range of views on Islam) to explore and better understand the consequences of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry, and develop thoughtful responses to Islamophobia in the United States. Selected Jewish, Muslim and non-Evangelical Christian representatives also participated to help provide a broader contextual understanding of the issues being addressed.
"The conference marked an important step forward in mobilizing against Islamophobia," said Howard Cohen, DI/J.E.S. Board treasurer and conference co-organizer (and one of the authors included in this J.E.S. issue). "The work is ongoing and planning is underway so that we can move ahead with the network and strategies established at the conference."
Organizers named four primary objectives for the conference:
To examine the present challenge of Islamophobia in the United States, with particular attention to how it relates to Evangelical Christians and Muslims.
To provide a biblical, historical, legal and political rationale for greater tolerance across religions.
To develop (and the lay the foundation for) a long-term strategy for Evangelicals and others to address Islamophobia in the United States.
To develop specific tools for implementing this strategy, including:
interviewing and filming a select group of speakers;
using social media to enlarge the audience and impact;
producing this special issue of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, featuring conference presentations.
Click here to see article about the conference from The Huffington Post.