The Islamic Networks Group, ING, based in San Jose, California, released a statement following the violent attacks on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris. In my experience in Interfaith, the ING statement reflects the peace-loving and life-affirming attitude of Muslims around the world, from Malaysia to Mumbai, from Dearborn to Dubai. Please refer people to the ING website should you encounter anti-Islamic reactions to the evil perpetrated by the tiny minority of extremists in France.
Here is the statement:
In Response to Paris Attack, ING and Affiliates Affirm Fundamental Values
ING and its Affiliates nationwide join fellow Americans in extending their deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today’s horrific attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris today which took the lives of twelve people. No belief, cause, or grievance justifies such senseless violence. We pray that the perpetrators be found and quickly brought to justice. As Muslims, people of other faiths, and leaders across the world condemn this attack, we affirm the following values and principles:
We affirm and uphold the sanctity of all human life, the taking of which is among the gravest of all sins.
We affirm the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and speech.
We affirm the right to security in one’s livelihood, profession, and residence.
We believe that God created us with all the diversity of race, religion, language, and belief to get to know one another, not to despise or hate one another.
We believe that Islam is above all a religion of peace and mercy, and that Muslims are obligated to model those traits in their lives and characters and to work for the good of our homeland and society, wherever that might be.
Recently Bela Shah and Audrey Lin visited the monastery to interview me about life and the price of tea in Taiwan. Richard Whittaker was gracious enough to publish the conversation in his excellent journal, "Works and Conversations." (Issue #29). You can read the results here.
It's two days after Veteran's Day, but seeing this photo, I wanted to share my gratitude for the life of the late John C. Campbell, a former Green Beret, and the man who inspired me and many students like me, to study the Chinese language and culture. He bridged East and West, so that we could expand the capacity of our minds. My studies with him led to my encounter with Buddhism. I gave a Dharma-talk this Tuesday at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and I took the opportunity to thank Mr. Campbell for his service and his gifts to generations to come. My comments on Mr. Campbell begin at 2:00
It's time again for Tea & Dharma at Teance Tea Shop! Tomorrow night, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 we will gather at Teance, on 4th Street in Berkeley, at 7:30 PM, to share stories of heroes. The topic will be:
"Heroes: Who Do You Admire and Why?" And "American Anti-heroes: Our Love of Individual Expression."
Come join a discussion about what makes a person heroic and bring a story to share about who inspired (s) you to want to be like them?
Alternately come to share a story of anti-heroes, and how our culture idolizes outlaws, free spirits who bend the rules to order to win.