Pope Francis: “Interfaith dialogue an antidote to violence.”


popefrancispatriarchPope Francis with Patriarch Bartholomew I in Jerusalem (photo by Nir Hason)


Pope Francis: “Interfaith dialogue is the
most effective antidote to violence.”

Recognizing the humanity of one another is a crucial step to erasing prejudice and is an underpinning of our Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB). Our interfaith panels bring together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists to teach about their respective faiths, introducing audiences face-to-face to adherents of diverse religions.

Pope Francis has renewed his commitment to interfaith dialogue, calling on all religions to work together to address extremism and violence. “Perhaps now more than ever such a need (for inter-religious dialogue) is felt, because the most effective antidote against all forms of violence is education towards the discovery and acceptance of differences,” he said. “If it is assumed that we all belong to human nature, prejudices and falsehoods can be overcome and an understanding of the other according to a new perspective can begin.”

Visit our website to learn more about our interfaith work and request an interfaith panel.

World Interfaith Harmony Week is Coming!
United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week Banner

Each year, the United Nations sponsors World Interfaith Harmony Week during the first week of February. It is a time “when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are.” Our friends at the Silicon Valley Interfaith Council (SiVIC) have put together an easy list of eight suggested activities for observing the week.

Another way to mark the occasion is to request an ING Interfaith Panel for your school or organization.


Space still available at our January 31st INGYouth Workshops in San Jose, CA and Longwood, Florida

Education that builds religious literacy and corrects stereotypes and misconceptions promotes confidence and discourages extremism.

INGYouth Workshops help ensure that our youth are equipped to address and respond to stereotypes and prejudice while maintaining a positive attitude and confident self-identity.

Parents attending a recent workshop said, “I learned how to be an informed, engaged, proactive, and understanding Muslim parent.”

Students age 11 through 22 and their parents are invited to join us at our upcoming INGYouth workshops in California and Florida.


Upcoming ING Speaker Training for the
Islamic Speakers Bureau – Feb. 21

ING trainers will lead a speaker certification training at the ING office from 10 am to 3 pm on February 21st. If you are interested in joining the Islamic Speakers Bureau please contact [email protected] for additional questions, or visit our site to register for the workshop.


ING Affiliate in Cincinnati Participates in
Interfaith Meeting of Civil Rights Leaders


ING Cincinnati affiliate director and ING Trustee Shakila Ahmad was among area leaders who met with civil rights leader Dr. Virgil Wood. Dr. Wood, now in his 80s, was a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and served as a young leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The meeting focused on the need for Americans to embrace the ideals of the “beloved community” and the crucial role that religious leaders can play to bring us forward to reach this goal. Dr. Wood had called for the meeting, asking specifically that leaders of the Muslim community be invited to participate. A commitment
to work toward the ideals articulated by Dr. Wood has been shared with and agreed upon by the board and leadership at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.


ING Participates in Muslims United
Against Extremism Event


ING Content Director Ameena Jandali and Dr. Ozgur Koca were the featured speakers as Bay Area Muslims raised their voices in condemnation of violence and extremism in the name of their faith on Tuesday night.

Speaking to a full room at Pacifica Institute, Mrs. Jandali said, “We are here to say with one voice as Muslims that we are united against terrorism and extremism and you (terrorists) do not speak for our faith.”

The audience included Christians and Jews as well as Muslims. When asked how we, as Americans, can best help Muslims abroad, Dr. Koca suggested investing in Muslim organizations in the U.S. and around the world, such as ING, that foster intercultural and interfaith engagement and education, specifically addressing religious literacy.