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September 02, 2010, 1:16 PM

Introducing the URI Toolkit - Responses to Hostility Against Faith Communities

Alarmed by the rising tide of Islamophobia and resulting backlash against the Muslim community that we have seen taking place across the United States as well as in other parts of the world, we here at the URI office in San Francisco were compelled to take action.

We are happy to share with you the URI Tool Kit: Actions for Interfaith Solidarity. We invite our Cooperation Circles, particularly those in North America and Europe, to consider how you might integrate some of these ideas and resources into your ongoing work. Because Eid, the holy day that ends Ramadan, falls on or near September 11th this year, this is an opportune moment to reach out to Muslim communities and Muslim members of your community, and make an effort to transform the ignorance and fear into understanding and respect.

We were inspired by a toolkit we received earlier from the Council on American-Islamic Relations called their Teachable Moment Community Response Guide and wished to create a toolkit of our own, specifically designed for interfaith audiences. We have adapted portions of CAIR's toolkit with their permission, and have also included some exceptional opinion-editorials by fellow interfaith organizers Eboo Patel from the Interfaith Youth Core and William Lesher from the Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions. The toolkit includes a number of useful media resources, ideas for individuals, and ideas for how faith communities, interfaith councils and interfaith CCs can respond.

We wish this  to be an ongoing creative process and dialogue with all of you, so please send us your stories of how you are reaching out to others via the [email protected] If you know of additional resources to include, please also send those to [email protected]

We look forward to sharing these stories of hope and positive response, to offer an alternative to the distortions of division and fear that we see amplified in the media.

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