BREAKING NEWS! A Katie Couric, Tanenbaum & Nat Geo Alliance

Dear Friends:

BREAKING NEWS! You can now find Tanenbaum’s Diversity in Islam fact sheet in National Geographic’s official Partner Toolkit for the second episode of Katie Couric’s docuseries America Inside Out, currently airing on National Geographic TV.

Episode two, “The Muslim Next Door,” airs on Nat Geo TV tonight at 10/9c. We encourage you to watch, and then order your free Partner Toolkit, which provides a copy of “The Muslim Next Door” and Tanenbaum’s fact sheet so you can host an informed discussion about this critical topic: What is it really like to be Muslim in America? What does it mean to be American?

Katie Couric and Nat Geo tell us that half of Americans say they have never met a Muslim. It is long overdue that we get to know “The Muslim Next Door.” Here’s an episode sneak peek.

Watch TV to be a more informed, inclusive citizen? Count us in!

Tune In,
Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. Please share our NEWS on social media. Let your friends, neighbors and colleagues know we invite them to host a discussion about this issue. Anyone can get a free copy of “The Muslim Next Door” and our Diversity in Islam fact sheet (part of Tanenbaum’sCombating Extremism campaign).

P.P.S. MALA, a fellow America Inside Out partner, invites all Muslims to help elevate public dialogue on Muslim-American identity in the 21st Century by sharing their story. This storytelling campaign aims to empower the narrative of American Muslim’s vast and thriving contribution to the diverse fabric of our nation’s society.

The Right Way to Talk about Extremism & Religion

Dear Friends:

There is no other way to say it. Extremism is rising as our country grows more polarized. Church shootings. Synagogue desecration. Muslim and Sikh youth harassed. Equally troubling are the countless other injustices that fail to make the headlines. It can feel unsurmountable, but there is hope.

Over two years ago, we launched Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism campaign to get us talking and listening to one another—and especially to those whose beliefs and ideologies differ from our own. Because that is where the hope lies. In each of us.

This means taking responsibility for what we know—and what we don’t. And it means finding out the real facts.

That’s why our Combating Extremism resources are designed to counter misinformation and/or our lack of information about some of today’s most pressing and complex religion-related issues. So that our conversations are based on accurate, objective facts.

To help you share—and discuss—what you learn from these resources in positive ways, Tanenbaum created a “How To” guide for this installment of Combating Extremism:

Guidelines for Conducting Open Conversations; and
Guidelines for Conducting Open Conversations – A Summary

Based on Tanenbaum’s 25 years of work, we know that conversations are critical to bridging divides, which can help prevent individuals from feeling marginalized—a risk factor believed to increase some people’s susceptibility to extremist ideology.

Join us in our efforts to stop hate and Combat Extremism. Let’s get talking!

With an open heart—and open ears,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

P.S. Whether you convene a formal conversation, engage in an off-the-cuff discussion with family, friends, or colleagues, or simply review and/or pass along Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism resources on social media or in person, we encourage you to send an email to combatingextremism@tanenbaum.org and let us know. Please include stories that highlight how your ideas or behavior (or those of other participants) shifted, if available, as a result.

P.P.S. When you support Tanenbaum, you help us in the battle for a world where people across beliefs live side by side, free from extremism, persecution and hate.

Religion & Respecting Women – Combating Extremism

Dear Friends:

What is religion’s role in the #MeToo movement? Take a minute to reflect.

As some thoughtful and brave members of the Christian faith remind us, religion (in their tradition—as in all others) has been both complicit and redemptive. Fortunately, there are actionable steps our faith leaders can take to ensure that the #MeToo movement is not just a #MeToo moment.

That said, if we are to see real change, we all must contribute. That’s why this month’s installment of Combating Extremism provides you with a set of tools to help change mindsets and inspire modified behaviors.

You can start by familiarizing yourself with quotes from across faiths and traditions that highlight the valued status of women.  And then, share these resources with family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders.

Whether called equals, partners or allies, all our traditions embrace treating women with respect and dignity.

It’s time to do it,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. When you support Tanenbaum, you help us in the battle for a world where people across beliefs live side by side, free from extremism, persecution and hate.

MLK’s Weapon of Choice – For Combating Extremism

Dear Friends:

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. And one week from today, people across all faiths, in over 100 countries, will pause to honor his life. That is one of his many extraordinary legacies.

King’s vision, strategic wisdom, and resilience continue to inspire us.

That’s why, for this month’s installment of our Combating Extremism campaign, we highlight King’s use of nonviolence to exact political change. Motivated by his deeply held beliefs, King’s life and actions remind us that religion can be a rich motivator for good. But it is up to us to make it so.

Read on to learn more about the practical ways King manifested his philosophy of nonviolence—a weapon of choice we can still use today:

In honor,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. When you support Tanenbaum, you help us in the battle for a world where people across beliefs live side by side, free from extremism, persecution and hate.

Thanksgiving & American Indian Wisdom, Quotes & Prayers – Combating Extremism

Dear Friends:

For many of us, the end of November is a time for visiting with family and dear friends, and thinking of the people and things that make us grateful. But often for the American Indian community, it’s different. For many of them, Thanksgiving is a holiday that ignores, and even celebrates, their history of suffering. Suffering that still reverberates today.

For example … did you know that just last May, two young Native men were run over by a white man allegedly shouting racial slurs? Or that Native People are being targeted by white supremacists and right-wing extremists—something we rarely see in the news.

At this moment of gratitude with loved ones, I want to ask you to pause and consider the American Indian experience.

As a starting point, please take a look at this month’s installment of Combating Extremism—and see some short but powerful reminders of American Indian Wisdom, Quotes and Prayers.

To successfully combat hate and ignorance, we must be proactive in learning about each other. Only by recognizing our cultural assumptions will we reduce the stereotypes and ‘othering’ that perpetuate hatred—including toward American Indians.

With gratitude,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. Since 1970, an organization known as Native Americans of New England has recognized Thanksgiving as their National Day of Mourning. To acknowledge the glaring omission of the American Indian narrative from our traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, the U.S. government made November Native American Heritage Month. And Black Friday is now also known as Native American Heritage Day.

P.P.S There are over 550 American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes in the U.S.

P.P.P.S. Speaking for myself, and everyone at Tanenbaum, we’re grateful for all of you. Thank you for being part of our community, and supporting our work.

Myanmar: When Nationalism Gets Violent – Combating Extremism

Dear Friends:

Often, it is easy to feel disconnected from world events. But what we are seeing in Myanmar, fervent nationalism—at the expense of religious respect for diversity—is tragically, and dangerously, a current global phenomenon.

Since we sent you our most recent Combating Extremism campaign resources about the Rohingya Crisis only a few weeks ago, the U.N. Secretary-General has called for Myanmar to grant the Rohingya, now a stateless people, legal status. He has also called for an end to the violence against the Rohingya, and for the more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to return home—though many of their homes were burned to the ground.

The crisis is still so severe that two U.S. Congressmen have publicly called for the U.S. to take action to help end the ethnic cleansing. And there are also reports that U.S. senators are looking to pass legislation that sanctions the Myanmarese military and their business interests.

To fully understand this crisis—and other crises in which religion and nationality are linked—it is important to understand the history of a people. That is why for this month’s installment of Combating Extremism, we dig even deeper into the Rohingya Crisis and Rohingya identity.

With vigilance,
Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

Rohingya: On the Brink of Genocide – Combating Extremism

Photo Credit: Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

Dear Friends:

The photos are heart-wrenching. In one, a woman embraces the lifeless body of a toddler. In another, a teary-eyed young boy holds out his hand, desperate for food. These are the faces of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority community in Myanmar—now facing ethnic cleansing. Maybe you’ve seen their faces in the news:

Persecuted by Buddhist extremists for decades, the Rohingya are also part of one of the largest refugee communities in the United States.

That is why, for this month’s installment of Combating Extremism, we invite you to learn more about the Rohingya and to start a conversation in your community about extremism and this crisis:

The Rohingya Crisis is a stark reminder that extremism touches people from all religions. By combating extremism anywhere, we combat extremism everywhere.

In solidarity,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S.: If you want to support the Rohingya, here is a list of organizations taking action.

P.P.S.: And if you want to support Tanenbaum’s work in bringing clarity to these complex issues, please donate here.

Remembering 9/11-Reflections on Nonviolence

Friends,

On this 16th anniversary of September 11th, I chose to commemorate the tragic day by rejecting aloud the idea that violence is the core language of humankind. Instead, it is nonviolence—a transformational force acknowledged by many faiths and belief traditions—that resonates with me and that has moved mountains throughout history.

Drawing strength from their own faith’s perspectives, icons like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, as well as Tanenbaum’s lesser-known Peacemakers in Action, prove that nonviolence is an effective and loving way to combat oppression, violence and extremism in our time.

Learn more about the various ways our religious beliefs address nonviolence from our latest Combating Extremism resources:

Nonviolent resistance… avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him.

–Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “An Experiment in Love”

In Remembrance,
Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO

Talking Terrorism…Did You Know? – Combating Extremism

Dear Friends,

Did you know that between 2006-2011, 82-97% of terrorism victims worldwide were Muslim?

It’s the truth. So, why have most of us never heard this type of information? To help remedy this situation, please check out this month’s Combating Extremism materials and take a dive into facts about terrorism that go beyond the headlines.

Read, share, and discuss… Because reforming this world requires informing this world.

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. We want to hear from you! Let us know what in the fact sheet worries, inspires, or surprises you. And use this fact sheet to start a conversation with friends about what you’ve learned!

P.P.S. Please encourage friends, neighbors, educators and community leaders to sign up to receive our free Combating Extremism materials.

5 Reflections on London and Virginia

Flowers left in memory for the victims of the attack at Finsbury Park Mosque. June 2017 | Getty Images

Dear friends,

Once again, on a Monday morning, we awoke to news that made us stop in our tracks— terrorism and the slaughter of a 17-year-old girl on Father’s Day because she was Muslim. Again, we mourn and extend our condolences to the families, friends and communities who are suffering these losses most directly.

Below are my 5 Reflections on London and Virginia:

  1. I am heartsick. But I also realize that the volume of the horrors has a numbing effect on too many of us.
  2. As numbness to the deaths sets in, fear is escalating at the randomness with which terrorism and hate crimes are becoming a daily norm.
  3. Terrorism is not limited to any one group or ethnicity. Just look at the perpetrators of these two crimes and you’ll see what I mean.
  4. Terrorism targets all of us— including Muslims.
  5. And the question… How is it that London and Virginia grab at our heartstrings— but we barely notice atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia, India, etc.?

With great sorrow,

Joyce S. Dubensky
Tanenbaum CEO