Interfaith Respect Series #2: Islamic Center of America Imam Hassan Qazwini talks about the Iraq War and other issues
Interfaith Respect has long been a goal of the Upper Peninsula EarthKeeper Team in northern Michigan.
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain
On June 4, 2009 President Barack Obama said in Cairo, Egypt that people from different religions should respect each others faiths: The richness of religious diversity must be upheld … faith should bring us together.
In that spirit, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI begins a series of videos from a wide range of faiths.
These videos include Bahai, Jewish, Muslim, Zen Buddhist and Christian (Catholic, Lutheran, United Church of Christ and more.)
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain
We start with three videos with well-know Muslim Imam Hassan Qazwini (pictured above) and followed by three videos of Dr. Michael Grossman, a member of Temple Beth Sholom (pictured below), a Jewish Synagogue in Ishpeming, MI.
Bliptv video #1
Bliptv video #2
youtube video #1
youtube video #2
Imam Hassan Qazwini photos by Greg Peterson
Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, spoke on Oct. 22, 2008 at the Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) Lothlórien House in Marquette, MI.
Imam Qazwini talks about his life, the Iraq War and the treatment of women in Islam.
(See links below to two previous videos in which Imam Qazwini talks about respect for the environment and the few differences between the worlds major religions.)
Northern Michigan University (NMU) Health & Nutrition Professor Mohey Mowafy of Marquette introduced Imam Hassan Qazwini.
Dr. Grossman joined faith leaders from other religions in a April 23, 2009 address to NMU students.
The interfaith messages were delivered during the Sacred Planet series sponsored by the EarthKeeper NMU Student Team led by team leaders Sarah Swanson and Ben Scheelk.
Interfaith graphic, above, by Justice St. Rain
The EarthKeeper Interfaith Respect videos will include:
Dr. Rodney H. Clarken, chair of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of Marquette:
Speaks about the history of the Bahai faiht, the environment and the EarthKeeper Initiative.
Head Priest Reverend Tesshin Paul Lehmberg of the Lake Superior Zendo, Soto Zen Buddhist temple, Marquette, MI:
Speaks about the history of the Buddhist and Zen Buddhist faith, the environment and the EarthKeeper Tree Project.
Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
Speaks on the environment, interfaith projects and respect for each others faith.
Catholic EarthKeeper team member Kyra Fillmore, seedling distribution coordinator for the EarthKeeper Tree Project, held in connection with Earth Day 2009, that saw the congregations of 100 churches and temples plant over 12,000 trees across the U.P. during May 2009:
Speaks about the Catholic faith, the environment and the tree project.
United Church of Christ Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, Indiana:
Cairns speaks in May 2009 about what can be learned from the Earth-based Celtic religion plus Celtic Christianity and the environment from Union Community Church (UCC) in Valparaiso, IN.
Dr. Cairns comments are thanks to the congregation and its pastor, Rev. Dr. Gregory Augustus Jones, M.Div., D. Min, adjunct assistant professor of theology at Valparaiso University.
Dr. Cairns is the co-founder of the nonprofit Turtle island Project, a research professor with the Chicago Theological Seminary and Theologian in Residence at the Union Community Church.
We will wrap up our interfaith series with music from the NMU Sacred Planet series:
EarthKeeper volunteer Johnnie Bryant (above) on guitar
NMU student Emmanuel Shayo (above) sings, plays drums
EarthKeeper volunteer Johnnie Bryant sang an original song and NMU student Emmanuel Shayo played the drums.
NMU students and the guest speakers enjoyed homemade herbal tea made with indigenous plants that were collected and and brewed by EarthKeeper volunteer and naturalist Tom Reed, who has served as volunteer social worker with numerous Cedar Tree Institute projects.
The EarthKeepers are an interfaith environment group involving over 150 churches and temples across northern Michigan.
The EarthKeeper Initiative is co-sponsored by the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute, the nonprofit Superior Watershed Partnership, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and 10 faith communities: Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist, Baha’i, Jewish, Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) and Zen Buddhist.
The EarthKeepers have ties to several other faiths including the Evangelical Covenant Church and Japanese Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist Network.
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain
U.S. President Barack Obama interfaith quotes from Cairo, Egypt on June 4, 2009:
“People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul.”
“The richness of religious diversity must be upheld whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt.”
“And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.”
“Indeed, faith should bring us together.”
“That is why we are forging service projects in America that bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews.”
“That is why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s Interfaith dialogue and Turkey’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations.
Around the world, we can turn dialogue into Interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster.”
“I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country you, more than anyone, have the ability to remake this world.”
“The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few.”
“We should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
This truth transcends nations and peoples a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian, or Muslim or Jew.
It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions.
It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today.”
“All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.”
And because the EarthKeepers stand for the equal treatment of all – we include the Presidents remarks about respect for womens rights:
“The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights.”
“I know there is debate about this issue.
I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.
And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.”
“Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead.”
“Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.”
“Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity men and women to reach their full potential.
I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles.
But it should be their choice.”
“That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.”
Two previous excerpts from the Marquette talk by Imam Hassan Qazwini:
Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, Marquette, MI
Lake Superior Zendo, Soto Zen Buddhist Temple, Marquette, MI:
Buddhadharma MahaSangha News:
American Buddhist Network:
Buddhist Yahoo Darma Wellness Group:
Presbytery of Mackinac (Presbyterian):
Quakers Lake Superior Friends, Marquette, MI:
Celtic Christianity Today, founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns:
Union Community Church in Valpraiso, IN:
Rev. Dr. Gregory Augustus Jones:
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources – Special Ideas website:
Call Justice St. Rain at Interfaith resources
P.O. Box 9
511 Diamond Rd
Stories on EarthKeeper projects (2005-2009):
EK Tree Planting final story:
EarthKeeper Column #7 by Rev. Jon Magnuson: Bequeathing a Sacred Planet
EarthKeeper Column #6 by Catholic member Kyra Fillmore: Growing Faith:
EarthKeeper Column #5 by co-founder Rev. Jon Magnuson: Seeds, Signs and Symbols
EarthKeeper Column #4 by Presbyterian member Jill Martin: The Giving Tree
EarthKeeper Column #3 by Carl Lindquist: Great Lakes Ripple Effect
EarthKeeper Column #2 Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg:
EarthKeeper Column #1 by Rev. Jon Magnuson:
Some of the Earthkeeper stories over the years:
Lake Superior Magazine:
National Religion News:
PR Web: Michigan Earth Day 2007 Project Nets Over Ton of Pharmaceuticals (has lots of photos on right side of page)
The Interfaith Upper Peninsula EarthKeeper Team planted 12,000 trees across 400 miles of northern Michigan during May 2009 thanks to the congregations of over 100 churches and temples.
A garden initiative is among the projects being considered in 2010.