August 2011

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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 ‘When People Are Killing Each Other in the Name of Faith, They Are Killing Their Brothers, Sisters and Innocent People’
Rachel Dyne
A highlight of the Dialogue in Diversity workshop conducted by Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) from July 9 to 24, 2011, in Dhaka was the participation of seven people from the YMCA in England. The author, from the Tees Valley YMCA in Darlington in northern England, was among these English participants, and she shares in this essay her reflection of her two-week experience in Bangladesh. [Read more]

 ‘We Should Respect Each Other’s Faith because We Are Human Beings and Are Created by One God’
Bappu Mree
The author was among the local participants of the two-week Diversity in Dialogue workshop conducted by Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) in July 2011 in Dhaka. He explains in this reflective essay how he will seek to utilize what he attained in the program to the serious issues facing his indigenous community of Garo people in Bangladesh. [Read more]

 One Man Fights for His Shooter’s Life
Laurna Strikwerda
Rais Bhuiyan, an immigrant from Bangladesh who had settled in the United States, was shot in the face by Mark Stroman in the wake of 9/11 in 2001. This story shares Bhuiyan’s acts of forgiveness that are rooted in his Islamic faith as he has worked for many years to save the life of the man who shot him because of hate. [Read more]

  Talking about Religion after Norway
Julie Clawson
In the aftermath of the tragic and senseless loss of life on July 22 in Norway, the author discusses overcoming fear of “the other” and the role that faith—all faiths—play in this increasingly important process within the world’s diverse societies. [Read more]

  Conviction of Ahmadiyyah Victim in Indonesia Undermines Constitutional Protections
Asian Human Rights Commission
In July, a court in Indonesia sentenced members of a mob who were responsible for killing and injuring Ahmadis in the West Java subdistrict of Cikeusik to three to six months in prison. This lenient sentence has now been followed in August by the court sentencing a victim of the attack on Feb. 6 this year, Deden Sudjana, to imprisonment of six months for protecting a house being attacked by the mob. This judicial irrationality, and the impunity it condones, is likely to encourage future attacks against the Ahmadiyyah community and other religious minorities in the country. [Read more]

  Firefly of the Battlefield: Peace Initiatives by the Victims’ Families in Dang
Shree Ram Chaudhary
It is naturally not easy for an organization to work with people in the middle of a war zone to try to alleviate the hardships of poverty. However, the author, a staff member of the Society for Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) who belongs to the Tharu ethnic community in Nepal’s Dang District, explains how his organization managed to win the trust of both sides in the country’s civil war and, most importantly, the confidence of the people at the grassroots level. [Read more]

  A Lesson on Conflict
So Nasier
Seeking to equip himself with greater understanding about conflict and tools to work for justpeace, especially with his interfaith youth group, a School of Peace (SOP) alumni in Cambodia shares his experience during a training program conducted by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) in August in Phnom Penh. He explains in this summary of the program about the conflict tree, the conflict resolution continuum and conflict mapping, among other tools he learned to use during this six-day program. [Read more]

  Fact-Finding Report: Social Boycott—A Crude Form of Caste Discrimination
Dalit Mukti Morcha
A seven-member fact-finding team was organized by Dalit Mukti Morcha in the state of Chhattisgarh to investigate another social boycott in India against a person from a marginalized community. This time the case involved a Dalit woman in the village of Karauvadih, Kavita Manhar, who won a local election but who was obstructed in her efforts to perform her duties as an elected representative of the people because of the social boycott in June this year. Please read further details about the incident as well as the discrimination and ostracism of the Dalits in general in the community and the recommendations of the fact-finding team online at <>.

  A Message from Phum Srol
Apsaraporn Chanchai
The author visited the Thai-Cambodia border shortly after fighting erupted between the two countries in February 2011. His summary of his visit once again highlights the suffering that civilians bear in these conflicts. [Read more]