NIOT Princeton

February 5: World Interfaith Harmony Event

Last October, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously passed Resolution A/65/PV.34 to establish World Interfaith Harmony Week. The Resolution identifies the first week of February as a time to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.” This statement evolved from influential regional and international efforts at promoting interreligious cooperation through initiatives such as the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation and Peace and the “Common Word Between Us and You” statement addressed to Christians emphasizing love in Islam and Christianity and signed by over 130 Muslim leaders.

To promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions, last October, the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution A/65/PV.34 declaring the first week of February: “World Interfaith Harmony Week”.

The three goals of the “World Interfaith Harmony Week” are to coordinate efforts of positive work; to use places of worship to foster peace; and to encourage religious clergy to declare support for peace. Observances are meant to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.”.

As many as 44 separate events are scheduled around the world, according to the World Interfaith Harmony website. In New York: 7th Annual Interreligious Prayer Service for Peace and Justice Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week on Saturday, February 5th, 2011 (7pm) at Church of St. Francis Xavier, (46 West 16th St. bet. 5th and 6th Ave), Manhattan NY email:

posted by Rhonda Maguire

Interfaith Celebration: Prophet of Love

The Princeton University community is invited to an interfaith celebration of Muhammad, the Prophet of Love. It promises to be an inspiring evening filled with songs, poetry and commentary. The evening is planned to focus on celebrating the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad, reflecting on his life and legacy. There will be performances by Mona Haydar and Amir Vahab. The keynote address will be given by Ustadh Hisham Mahmood.

WHAT: Celebrating Muhammad, Prophet of Love
WHERE: Rocky Commons (Nassau St. / University Place), Princeton University
WHEN: Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 8pm.
TICKETS: Free and Open to the Public
CONTACT: Sohaib Sultan at or 609-258-3042

This program is hosted by the Muslim Life Program by the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University.

Neo-African Americans

Filmmaker Kobina Aidoo will screen and discuss his documentary, “The Neo-African Americans,” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center for Equality & Cultural Understanding located at 58 Prospect Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The one-hour documentary addresses how rapid, voluntary immigration from Africa and the Caribbean to the United States is transforming the “African American” narrative. From Somalis in Minnesota, to Trinidadians in New York, to Afro-Cubans in Miami, to Nigerians in Maryland, the term “African-American” means something unique to everyone. But the film asks if these individuals are considered African-Americans.

The film includes interviews with social scientists, activists, and African, Caribbean and Afro-Latino immigrants now living in cities across the United States. “The Neo-African Americans” analyzes the major issues arising from black immigration– self-identification, income, black-on-black tensions, education, affirmative action and more.

Aidoo, originally from Ghana, currently works at the World Bank as a public affairs consultant in Washington, DC. He initially came to the United States to study broadcast communications at Barry University in Miami and later continued with MBA studies. He has also provided economic consulting work for the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree with a specialty in International Trade and Finance from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he also served as co-chief editor of the “Africa Policy Journal.”

The event is sponsored by the University’s Carl A. Fields Center for Equality & Cultural Understanding, Black History Month Committee, Akwaaba, the Black Student Union and the Princeton Caribbean Connection. The program is part of a series of events being offered during Black History Month at the university.

(This is a press release from the university)

Youth in Jeans

You never know, with kids, how they will meet and mix with strangers, but today it worked. First Baptist Church of Princeton had its Youth in Jeans day today. It was an inspiring and exciting service. Before the processional, two youth from Princeton United Methodist Church struck up a conversation with three young Baptist women and discovered — that they go to the same schools, Mercer County Community College and West Windsor Plainsboro Schools. When they parted, they were exchanging emails.

Not in THEIR Bordentown

They picketed the funerals of those felled in Tucson, and now they are coming to New Jersey. But people are bandingtogether to protest the protestors, the extremists from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

U.S. Army Spc Benjamin Moore, a Bordentown native, was killed in Afghanistan, and his funeral is this Saturday atTrinity United Methodist Church. The mayor of Bordentown has issued a proclamation honoring the fallen soldier. At least 150 people including VFW members, the soldier’s fellow firefighters, a group called Compassionate Friends, and retirees from the New Jersey State Police plan a counter demonstration. Like the citizens of Tucson, they have an action plan. They will offer a human fence to protect friends and family, and a group called Angels will dress up in outfits with large wings to hide the protesters. (Above, a picture of an Angel group in Tucson).
Reverend Tom Miller, the pastor at Trinity, says everyone who wants to be supportive is welcome. There are parking concerns, so a lot has been set up on Route 130 south at a former Acme Market, where there will be shuttles to take people into town. As of Wednesday evening, according to the Facebook page of “Angels for Ben,” supporters are invited to meet at this parking lot at 6 a.m. to be shuttled into town by 7:30 a.m. The viewing begins at 9 a.m. at the church. In contrast to the expected behavior of the Westboro contingent, the counter demonstration is to be peaceful and nonconfrontational.
Says Bordentown: Not in our town, will we allow hate to prevail.
(This post was taken from Princeton Comment)

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