The recent TAMCAT (Toward A Moral Consensus Against Torture) conference brought together regional and national activists of various faiths to speak out regarding the immorality of torture, and to learn from each other about the issue.
The conference was well-attended, in spite of the difficult and painful subject matter. It was co-sponsored by Duke Divinity, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the NC Council of Churches.
I was personally grateful for the interfaith nature of the conference, especially for the insights of Imam Abdullah Antepli, who shared some of his personal family story in the context of national events. Antepli is an articulate and moving speaker, and on the forefront of interfaith efforts in the region and internationally. He will leave this Sunday for a tour of three countries in Africa with several Catholic priests, speaking to regions where Christian-Islamic violence is prevalent. Antepli and his Christian companions will speak on the teachings of peace that are integral to their traditions, and will embody that community by traveling together.
Imam Antepli has also recently signed on to the Interfaith Concert event the NCCC is planning for the fall. That event is based in the understanding that building community is the most effective (though perhaps least dramatic) way to resist divisive rhetoric that demonizes the ‘other.’ It is much easier to caricature people we don’t know. It is hard not to challenge stereotypes when one’s own personal experience and relationships contradict them.
Stay tuned for more news on the Abrahamic concert event in the fall. We look forward to seeing you there.
Program Associate for Peace