Interfaith Youth Core Founder Eboo Patel published a response this week to a Religious Dispatches essay critical of Interfaith as a cure for religious violence. Supporting a notion that Interfaith cooperation has not standardized political values or beliefs across the Interfaith diaspora. Patel asserts differing political positions do not hinder a healthy interfaith community where the shared value is peace and co-existence. Further, he dispels the charge that Interfaith cooperation by default lobbies any “X” political tactic. In Patel’s view, both conservative and progressive political activism follows naturally of many interfaith collaborations, but do not justify a case that value-based outreach stands for the “ends” of Interfaith as a “means.”
Some years back I met the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechervan Barzani. One of the first things he did was thank me for the American military intervention that he described as freeing his people from oppression. I informed him that many of my friends viewed the Iraq War as profoundly unjust and protested vociferously against it.
Barzani was rendered speechless for a moment. When he finally spoke it was to say, through clenched teeth, that the only thing unjust about the war that removed Saddam Hussein was that it didn’t happen sooner.