From Fear to Friendship: Interfaith Relations in a Time of Suspicion

Speaker: Rev. D. Andrew Kille, Ph.D., Chair of Silicon Valley Interreligious Council.

Prejudice and fear of unknown others is nothing new in the American experience. Time after time, suspicion directed toward one group or another has complicated the interreligious encounter. What impact do negative statements made by presidential candidates or local governmental figures make on interfaith relations? What positive efforts are being made to bring people and communities together, and how can individuals get involved in promoting a more just and compassionate world for all?

I Am the Other: Countering Stereotypes, Religious Illiteracy, and Hate Crimes

In the wake of recent hate crimes against the Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh communities, we’ve witnessed an increase in ignorance and stereotypes that have lead to violent attacks and dangerous misrepresentations that cause great harm to minority communities. Just in the past few months, a Sikh man in Kent, Washington was attacked, while there have been a string of anti-Semitic incidents and bomb threats to Jewish centers across the country.

Moreover, the tragic hate crime shooting at a bar in Olathe, Kansas left one Indian Hindu immigrant dead and another injured. Further exacerbating the situation, CNN aired the show Believer on March 5th, the first episode of a series on religion that presented Hinduism in a decontextualized and exoticized manner. Such blatant misrepresentations in the media only adds to the existing religious misunderstandings and stereotypes surrounding Hinduism and other religions.

Join the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) for a diverse interfaith panel discussion to address the important issues that are currently facing minority religious communities in the U.S.

Come learn more on how you can help counter stereotypes, xenophobia, and hate crimes.

  • Moderator: Mihir Meghani M.D., Board Member, SIVIC and Hindu American Foundation
  • Padmavathy Mana, HAF Associate Director, West Coast
  • Diane Fisher, Board Member, SiVIC and Jewish Community Relations Council Chair
  • Sabuhi Siddique, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Vice Chair of Human Relations Commission in Santa Clara County; 2018 San Jose City Council Candidate
  • Kavneet Singh, Board Member, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Temple tour and lunch will be available at 12.30 pm.