Message About The Orlando Shooting

This past week saw forty-nine innocent people brutally killed in what has been described as an act of terrorism and hate. Many national leaders, communities, and individuals from around the world have offered their condolences to the victims and their families affected by this devastating incident.

In solidarity and peace, we can work together to fight fanaticism and promote human flourishing by overcoming the divide between the secular and the religious realms, as well as the divide among the various religions themselves.

The first global conference was convened in 2006 under the shadow of the largest mass killing in U.S. history, which occurred on September 11, 2001.

The third and final global conference will meet on September 15, 2016 under the shadow of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, which occurred in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Both raise the question:
How does one deal with fanaticism?
But what is fanaticism?

Fanaticism results from being blinded by the intensity of the luminosity of one's own faith or conviction by standing too close to it, instead of seeing the whole world transformed in its light. Fanaticism fades when one realizes that more than one light may illumine the landscape.

In other words, in order to shed fanaticism, one needs to move from faith to interfaith.

This is the theme of the third global conference on World's Religions After September 11, which will meet on September 15, 2016 at the Palais des congrès in Montreal, Quebec.

Please join us and hear the following speakers tell us how they accomplished this journey from faith to interfaith: Karen Armstrong, Gregory Baum, Deepak Chopra, Harvey Cox, Phil Fontaine, Susannah Heschel, Amir Hussain, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Charles Taylor.

Arvind Sharma
Birks Professor of Comparative Religion
McGill University

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