FaithWorld

Youth volunteers sought for campaign against bigotry

PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL/Two U.S. State Department employees — one who speaks out against anti-Semitism, the other against Islamaphobia – have teamed up to promote a global campaign to get young people to combat racial, ethnic and religious bigotry by volunteering their time for people unlike them.

“For instance, a young Jewish person could volunteer five hours at a clinic that services a Muslim community. Or a Muslim could volunteer several hours to read books to a Christian pre-school. The list goes on and on,” said Hanna Rosenthal, the State Department’s special envoy focused on anti-Semitism.

The campaign, “2011 Hours Against Hate,” grew out of Rosenthal’s friendship with Farah Pandith, the State Department’s special representative to Muslim Communities. Attending a conference two years ago in Kazakhstan, the two arranged to swap speeches decrying hatred against Jews and Muslims, catching the the ear of conferees.

They were accompanied by young people from six non-governmental organizations who asked them to promote deeds, not just statements. They said they were inspired by U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for more volunteerism and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appeals for ”citizen diplomacy.” The concept also paralleled Europe’s declaration of 2011 as the year of volunteerism.

So, on February 17 at another conference in Vienna, the two introduced their idea.

from Fan Fare:

Hollywood and religion. Double standards, or fair game for satire?

Should all religions be taboo when it comes to comedy and satire?

Comedy Central -- the same TV network that managed to both anger and bow to Muslim sensibilities in April by airing and later censoring a "South Park" episode portraying the  Prophet Mohammad -- is now at the center of a pre-ejesus funmptive storm over plans to develop a comedy show about Jesus.

A new coalition of family and religious groups Citizens Against Religious Bigotry has called on Comedy Central not to air the animated series "JC" and asked advertisers to refuse to sponsor it.

The  show,  billed as being about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City,  is still in the development stage,  is not on the air yet, and has not yet been given a green light by the network.