Tomorrow is one of those days that means so many things. For most, it is a day that will be spent thinking about lost innocence: innocent lives lost, but also the end of innocence for whole generations, especially mine. People will reflect on the images they saw that day and the things that have come since. Hopefully, most will see tomorrow as a chance not to dwell on hatred, but rather to learn from the events and to take steps to embrace peace.
Sadly, a small but vocal group would like tomorrow to represent the continued presence of hate, intolerance, and misunderstanding that brought about those horrible events in the first place. These people claim to speak for their religion and their country, just as the terrorists did. But, just like the terrorists, they are mistaken.
What I’m proposing, in conjunction with friends over at LibraryThing, is an Interfaith Solidarity Reading Day to commemorate the 9th anniversary of September 11th. We’re encouraging everyone to spend a little bit of their day- a few minutes to a whole afternoon- reading a book or article about a religion, or religions, that they do not practice.
In no way are we trying to convert anyone, but we believe that the best weapon against intolerance and religious extremism is knowledge. By understanding the actual beliefs of others, we work to pull back the curtain of mistrust and fear and learn to embrace those of other religions for who they really are: our neighbors, our co-workers, our allies against hatred. We also work to take the power of misinformation away from the extremists of all creeds.
So please join us in exploring the healing powers of solidarity.