To see the other side, to defend another people, not despite your tradition but because of it, is the heart of pluralism— Eboo Patel
The most cheerful Eboo Patel quotes that will inspire your inner self
I have learned so much more about Islam in conversation with Jews and Christians and Hindus. I feel like that is part of the beauty of life on Earth - that we discover and develop what it means to be Muslim or Christian or Jewish not in isolation from others, but precisely in relationship with others.
I thought about the meaning of pluralism in a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong. I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It’s the only way to save ourselves.
Everywhere I go - from villages outside Kandy, Sri Lanka, to community centers in Amman, Jordan, to offices at the State Department in Washington, D.C. - I find people with a similar story. When thousands of people discover that their story is also someone else's story, they have the chance to write a new story together.
Have big dreams but focus only on what you can control: your own thoughts, words and actions. This was Gandhi's way ... in the words of Buddhist poet Gary Snyder, our job is to move the world a millionth of an inch.
To teach your child to only be a Muslim in Muslim spaces or only a Christian in Christian spaces means in a way that you're teaching them a religious identity that is relevant to only a very small part of their lives, because the vast majority of their lives in the 21st century are going to be lived in interaction with others.
One of the best ways of showing pluralism in action is for people to do service together, and that has so many benefits.
What we pluralists have to do is to say to the people standing on the faith line, particularly the young ones, no, pluralism is the wish of the creator. It is the greatest opportunity for humanity.
Finding Mecca in America weaves social theory and concrete ethnography into a significant contribution on Muslims in the United States, illuminating broader questions about the integration of minority and immigrant groups along the way. This is an important work and a joy to read.
Religious extremists want to show us that the only possibility is for us to kill each other, so September 11 is not only heinous murder, it is also global performance. It is also putting an idea into the world, an idea of destruction.
The totalitarians in the world are very, very small.
Only the smallest part of humanity wishes and acts upon the destruction of others. The pluralists are far larger. Those of us who believe in a world where we live together - we're far larger. The problem is we haven't made our case compelling across the world yet.
I think that we live in a remarkably networked world.
The problem with that, of course, is that tensions can travel in nanoseconds across the Internet, and so the tensions between Shiites and Sunnis in Baghdad, or between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast - those show up in different parts of the world.
I think that young people are going to continue on with the work on pluralism for two reasons, really. One is because it's the reality of the world that they live in, and I think young people from different backgrounds are asking themselves, what does it mean for me to be a Buddhist and friends with a Baptist?
When thousands of people discover that their story is also someone else's story, they have the chance to write a new story together.
A social entrepreneur is somebody who knows how to make an idea reality.
We have to build bridges that are stronger than the bombs that other people might throw
I as a Muslim believe deeply in the differences that are within Islam.
But I also take seriously the idea that we have to come to know one another.
Too many people think that the faith line divides Muslims and Christians or Jews and Hindus, or just to say that there is this clash of civilizations and people from different religions are inevitably against each other, inherently opposed to each other. I don't believe that for a second. I think the faith line divides totalitarians and pluralists, which is to say that totalitarians from different religious backgrounds.
The question of how people orient around religion differently, or interact with one another, whether that be based on conflict or cooperation, will be one of the most engaging questions of the 21st century.
My favorite single line from the Quran is from Surah 49:13, which says that God made us different nations and tribes that we may come to know one another, in the sense that diversity is holy and it was created by God. What we humans are meant to do with that diversity is engage in positive interaction with each other and come to know one another because knowledge is holy and pluralism or positive engagement is holy.
Religious pluralism is neither mere coexistence nor forced consensus.
It is a form of proactive cooperation that affirms the identity of the constituent communities while emphasizing that the well-being of each and all depends on the health of the whole. It is the belief that the common good is best served when each community has a chance to make its unique contribution.
A social entrepreneur is somebody who knows how to make an idea reality, and one of the great ideas of our time is pluralism. Can people from different backgrounds live together in mutual peace and loyalty? And what we need is a generation of young social entrepreneurs who know how to make that great idea reality in an historical moment where religious extremists are, frankly, making their idea reality.
Show me a religion that doesn't care about compassion.
Show me a religion that doesn't care about stewardship of the environment. Show me a religion that doesn't care about hospitality.