Ya Gotta Stand for Something

This widely published article by IRFWP director Frank Kaufmann, is presented here due to its strong core statement on interfaith.

Ya gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything, the title of an Aaron Tippin song, naturally was quoted in David French‘s cool and fun piece in National Review, “Post-Christian America: Gullible, Intolerant, and Superstitious,” where he argues that the decline of religion is replaced not by reason but by superstition.
Post-Christian America: Gullible, Intolerant, and Superstitious” is the kind of piece in which beleaguered doers of good can find solace, the one’s whose basic, old time values, and humble and sacrificial ways have them reliably and constantly villified as as bigots, and the cause of problems. The piece suffers a smidge from the cheapness and easiness of “us-and-them” writing. Its DNA has a taste of “embattled.” But still it is a good and helpful piece. In fact the troops do need a little shoring up now and then, giving the salt of the earth a moment to feel proud for choosing good, honest, faithful ways of life, and for their efforts every day to translate their blessedness into lives that help others.

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Interfaith Delegation at Peace Starts With Me Rally

On Saturday, July 15, 2017, IRFWP director Frank Kaufmann, in support of rally organizers, convened an interreligious delegation to attend the public Peace Starts with Me rally, held at Madison Square Garden.

Prior to the rally, spiritual leaders met and offered commentary to press covering the event

Special thanks for great support for the delegation goes to Guru Dileepkumar Thankappan

See photos of the leaders and the rally here


Annual Dialogue of the Interfaith Center of USA

On July 12, 2017, IRFWP director Frank Kaufmann attended the Annual Dialogue of the Interfaith Center of USA.

The event was convened and moderated by Guruji Dileepkumar Thankappan, and addressed with a keynote by Allama Sayed Arshad Madani

Dr. Kaufmann offered brief words on interfaith, offered prayers for peace, and received certificate of recognition, (as did several at the gathering)


Further images from the event are here

Caregivers Need Spiritual Support Too

A gentle and helpful article from guest contributor Sally Perkins

Looking after an elderly loved one is without any doubt a labor of love. While the love aspect goes without saying, it is all too easy to fail to give the word “labor” enough attention. Being a carer is physically hard work and spiritually draining, particularly if you are witnessing the mental or physical deterioration of a loved one.

As a caregiver, you are neither being fair on yourself nor on the person to whom you are providing care if you fail to look after your own spiritual wellbeing. Many carers find themselves struggling to find the time to pray, attend their place of worship and call on the other support aspects of their faith, right at a time when they need it most.

With this in mind, it is essential to make use of the help and resources that are available. While the wish to take full responsibility  for your loved one is understandable, the fact is that more seniors enter long term care because of caregiver burnout than because of their own deteriorating condition.

It is therefore essential to find the right balance between caring for your loved one and taking the time to maintain your faith through active prayer, social interaction and other activities, to keep your own batteries fully charged.

Avoiding burnout

So how can you avoid becoming another statistic? Here are some tips:

  • Find out what services are available in your local area to provide the help you need.
  • Make a habit of taking time for your spiritual wellbeing, through prayer, music or fellowship. Attend your place of worship as usual, no excuses!
  • Listen to other family members and accept their help and support. They  offer it because they want to give it, do not shut them out.
  • Have a regular schedule, particularly when it comes to mealtimes – that means you, not just your loved one!
  • Plan ahead, and include enjoyable pastimes in your schedule.
  • Monitor your own health and take regular exercise, even if it is just a walk round the block.
  • Focus on the positives. There will always be times of adversity, but by meeting the challenges head on and with a smile, you and your loved ones will come out with strength and grace.
  • See things from the other side. How would you feel if someone was caring for you? Chances are, you would be horrified if you thought your carer’s spiritual health was suffering.

Faith and courage

Taking care of an elderly family member with deteriorating health can be one of the most painful and difficult challenges, yet is is something all of us face at one time or another. This is a time when your faith and spirituality  is more important than ever. Meet the challenge with faith and courage, to make sure those final years are filled with memories that everyone can treasure.

Religious scholars issue unanimous fatwa declaring suicide attacks Haram

The News International

Religious scholars issue unanimous fatwa declaring suicide attacks Haram

ISLAMABAD: Religious scholars from all schools of thought on Saturday issued a *fatwa (religious decree) that declared suicide attacks, armed insurgency against a state and use of force in the name of imposing Shariah as ‘Haram’ or forbidden in Islam.

The fatwa carrying signatures of 31 noted scholars was released at a seminar “’Reconstruction of Pakistani society in the light of ‘Mithaq-e-Madina’ (Charter of Madina) and announcement of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ (Message of Pakistan). The event was organised by the Islamic Research Institute of the International Islamic University Islamabad.

Read the entire article here 

*A fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority. (ed)