WXXI AM News

Religion

We have an open-ended conversation on what the local Islamic community is experiencing and feeling since the terror attacks in Paris.

Our panelists share their thoughts on prejudice, refugees, ISIS, and how they view their religion. Our guests:

During this hour, we discuss antisemitism, Islamophobia, and bridging religious differences.

Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., is from Pakistan, is a practicing Muslim, and teaches at Manhattan College. She's the director of the college's Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. She'll be in Rochester on November 12 for several events, including a panel discussion on antisemitism and Islamophobia at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, and a keynote speech about Jewish-Muslim reconciliation for MCC's Kristallnacht program.

Our guests:

Finding meaning without deities: we'll talk to documentary filmmaker Christopher Johnson about his new film, "A Better Life." It's coming to our area, and we'll get a sense for why he wanted to tell the story of how atheists find meaning. We'll also hear from listeners who share how they find meaning.

Major religions are trying to come together to address ecological issues, and a number of upcoming events in the Rochester area will target people of various faiths to respond to climate change. We'll talk to representatives of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths about how their religious beliefs tie in to climate action:

  • Nancy Rourke
  • Neely Kelley
  • Joyce Herman
  • Dr. Ron Wexler
  • Joseph Lombardi

We examine the meaning of Pope Francis' new encyclical on climate change. What does it mean for the Catholic Church? More broadly, what does it mean when an organized religion wades into climate issues? Our panel discusses that and more:

Father Roy Bourgeois was a Catholic priest for 40 years, but the Vatican defrocked him in 2012 for supporting women in the priesthood. Bourgeois has spent his career advocating for equality and justice, from the rights of the poor and oppressed, to women's ordination. He's in Rochester for an event on Wednesday night, but first, he's on Connections.

We're looking at Indiana's controversial new law and all that comes with it (before show time, Indiana lawmakers agreed to make changes to the law). with an agreement to make changes to the law, The state of New York and the city of Rochester have banned all nonessential travel to Indiana. We'll talk about the law, what it means, and what comes next with our guests:

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is our guest, he's a Palestinian OB/GYN who lost three daughters and a niece when Israel hit his house with rockets in the 2009 siege of Gaza. Dr. Abuelaish was working in Israeli hospitals, one of the first Palestinians to do so, and had become a symbol for bridging cultural differences. Then he lost his daughters. He has become an advocate for peace and is the author of I Shall Not Hate: A Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity. He lives in Toronto now, and is in Rochester for a Monday night event.

President Obama set off an unexpected little firestorm when he mentioned the Crusades at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Many Christian leaders responded that the Crusades are misunderstood, and were justified wars responding to Islamic aggression. And it made me realize that I really don't know squat about the Crusades. Fortunately, some very scholarly people around here do, and they're joining us:

  • Timothy Thibodeau, Nazareth College professor
  • Laura Ackerman Smoller, University of Rochester professor
  • Michael Tinkler and Courtney Wells, Hobart and William Smith professors

Author George Dardess is our guest, he's written a number of books about the differences between Islam and Christianity, and about religion in general. He says he's saddened by the "Islamophobia" that he sees coming out of Charlie Hebdo and other recent events. We talk about whether religions are inherently violent, and whether the world's major religions can reconcile differences.

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