“Hattie Williams, senior reporter at the Church Times, has covered the proceedings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church from the beginning. She talks to Paul Handley, Editor, about the experience, and what she thinks the Church can learn.” Listen to it all (slightly under 17 minutes).
Category : Violence
(CEN) Sheikh Dr Muhammad al-Hussain–Investigating institutional bullying within faith and interfaith organisations
One of my most difficult experiences as a perpetrator of fitna myself was at the 2014 General Meeting of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (IFN).
A conglomeration of largely self-appointed “faith community representative bodies” and interfaith groups led by a Church of England bishop, the IFN has been funded over the years in millions of pounds by the taxpayer and enjoys privileged lobbying access to government.
Above all, the IFN embodies the vested interests of a monetised interfaith industry, and the project of the liberal Church of England hierarchy to reinvent itself as head boy of Eton for all UK faiths, just as England’s bishops chase continued political relevance in the face of the C of E’s own terminal decline in congregational numbers.
When I spoke publicly as a Muslim academic about the Inter Faith Network’s membership including the Islamic Foundation and Muslim Council of Britain, among whose founding leaders have been individuals convicted of genocide or linked to Jamaat-e-Islami Islamist networks overseas, it was the Methodist Director of the Lambeth Palaces ponsored Christian Muslim Forum who protested offence at the allegation that the IFN has members associated with extremism.
The written record shows how he demanded that my remarks as a Muslim cleric about Islamist extremism be expunged from the minutes of the meeting.
Read it all (subscription).
— Muhammad Al-Hussaini (@MYAlHussaini) July 12, 2019
The archbishop of Canterbury has thrown his weight behind calls for the government to make the reporting of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults mandatory.
Justin Welby told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA): “I am convinced that we need to move to mandatory reporting for regulated activities.”
Regulated activities cover areas where professionals come into routine contact with children and vulnerable adults, such as teaching, healthcare and sporting activities. In a church context, this would cover clergy and youth leaders.
Survivors of clerical sexual abuse have argued that mandatory reporting of allegations or suspicions of abuse to statutory authorities is a vital component of effective child protection. They argue that a failure to comply should lead to criminal sanctions.
— londonchurchfinder (@ldnchurchfinder) July 11, 2019
Well, one of the important things to recognize is that, in the United States, the vast majority of sex trafficking cases actually involve American citizens.
From the federal data, we know that upwards of 80 percent of all confirmed sex trafficking cases involve U.S. citizens and up to 40 percent of those cases involve the sale of children. And so it’s an incredibly important American problem and one that’s happening in communities all throughout the country.
I think that one of the things that we’re hoping comes to light and that people are able to connect the dots between the Epstein case and child sex trafficking all across this nation is that it’s often very powerful men with means taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of some of our most marginalized young women and girls, oftentimes, kids who have experienced extreme childhood sexual abuse, kids who are from the child welfare system, runaways and homeless youth, and exploiting there vulnerabilities.
It’s actually a tactic that exploiters use, because they know that these are the kids that no one really cares about. They know that these are the kids who most often fall through the cracks and that, even if they do come forward, they are the kids who are least likely to be believed.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) July 10, 2019
The British Sierra Leonean journalist Isha Sesay led CNN’s Africa reporting for more than decade — covering stories ranging from the Arab Spring to the death of Nelson Mandela.
But now, in her first book, titled Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Sesay has a chance to explore, in depth, the story most important to her career and closest to her heart: the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram’s 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from the northern Nigerian town of Chibok.
Sesay broke the story and followed it for years, despite government obfuscation and waning international interest after a wave of social media activism (remember #BringBackOurGirls?). For two years, 219 of the girls remained in captivity and 112 are still imprisoned.
In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Sesay combines the released Chibok girls’ stories with her own journalistic experiences to powerful effect.
To author Isha Sesay, American viewers’ ability to forget the Chibok girls’ plight is symptomatic of a dangerous shortsightedness.
She writes that these horrors should be “right at the heart of the conversation about the global threats America is facing.” https://t.co/xHBwf7sN5c
— NPR (@NPR) July 10, 2019
I’m here to interview Christians but I’m also invited to meet the pope of the Yazidis, an ancient native religion, and I’m never one to turn down a pope, so off we go. The venerable Sheikh Baba is in his Eighties, tired, and his son and brother take over the meeting. Conversation – as with all Iraqis – is robust.
“The situation is very bad,” says the Sheikh’s son, and the West offers only “talk”. That’s not entirely fair – some money has been spent by the US – but this is a community in crisis. Daesh killed thousands of Yazidi men and raped the women. When the Jihadists disappeared, they took 3,000 girls with them. Where are they? The Yazidis “are now in camps and [suffer] psychologically and materially. No jobs. We want our people to return to their land.”
He doesn’t think much of its chances in Europe, either. The more Islamists who move there, he says, the more children they have, the less Christian the West will be. The Sheikh’s family are perplexed that we haven’t figured this out yet. There are good and bad Muslims, adds one man, and who can forget what Christians did to the Jews in Germany? But the West “must say the reality”, which is that Daesh was Islamic.
— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) July 9, 2019
Martin Sewell, a representative from the diocese of Rochester, expressed disappointment that the Archbishops had declined a proposal to add to the agenda a motion welcoming a letter from the bishops of the diocese of Blackburn, which warned that Church’s mission was “fatally undermined” by the abuse crisis (News, 21 and 28 June).
He joined David Lamming, a lay member from St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, in making the proposal.
“At a time when the Church is nosediving into controversies over IICSA and Jonathan Fletcher, this motion was carefully designed to bring us together around a pastoral letter that prioritised repentance, humility, and genuine concern for victims,” Mr Sewell said on Monday. It deliberately sought support from General Synod, an institution that has historically been lazy and incurious as scandal after scandal broke. We never debate these matters properly.
“Instead we are left with a question for the Archbishops — ‘Don’t you want to hear what the elected representatives of the people of the Church have to say about all this?’”
The NSSG, on behalf of the Church of England, reiterates the apology to all those who have been abused by those who held a position of power and authority within the Church. It remains committed to ensuring that words of apology are followed by concrete actions to improve how all worshipping communities across the whole Church in its many forms – across its parishes, dioceses, cathedrals, religious communities, national church institutions and other church bodies – respond to concerns and allegations of abuse and to all victims and survivors of abuse and others affected by this, whilst at the same time working to prevent such abuse from occurring in the first place. The Church must continue to find ways to place children and young people at the centre of its response and safeguarding at the heart of its mission and culture.
The Church recognises that these responses are made to the recommendations from the Inquiry that have arisen as a result of IICSA’s work to date. The Church will need to consider carefully the evidence given to the July public hearings in respect of the national and wider church and is committed to progressing further improvements that can be made ahead of IICSA’s final report, when we anticipate additional recommendations being made.
This phase of the Anglican Church investigation has examined two case studies. The first was the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse against children. The second concerned Peter Ball, who was a bishop in Chichester before becoming Bishop of Gloucester. In 1993, he was cautioned for gross indecency, and was convicted of further offences in 2015, including misconduct in public office and indecent assault.
The Church of England should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. It failed to be so in its response to allegations against clergy and laity.
[Rosemarie] Mallett, a south London priest and prominent anti-knife crime campaigner, will speak about how the church can respond to the issue of serious youth violence and help young people affected by it at the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Dr Mallett said: “We must work with other organisations to find the best way to support young people in our parishes and our schools, and to be part of the solution to the challenges – not only of serious youth violence but the whole issue of young people who fall through the system.
“One way that churches can help is to provide safe havens for young people.
“This isn’t necessarily about running youth clubs, in many cases this may simply be providing a place where they can go, relax and feel safe, especially during the period immediately after school hours when flashpoints can occur.”
Mallett will lead the debate on combating knife crime in which she will urge parishes to open their doors after school and call on church leaders to receive training to equip them to support individuals, families and communities affected by serious youth violence.
— The Voice Newspaper (@TheVoiceNews) June 24, 2019
Churches will be encouraged to offer a place of sanctuary for young people as part of efforts to combat knife crime and serious youth violence, in a key debate to be held at the General Synod next month.
The Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, a priest in Angell Town, south London, will urge parishes to consider opening their doors after school hours as safe havens for young people in hot spot areas for serious violence.
Dr Mallett, a prominent campaigner in combating knife crime, will lead a debate at the General Synod in York calling for church leaders to be trained to support families and communities affected.
She will call for churches to take a range of practical measures – from providing knife amnesty bins to training for clergy and other leaders to protect young people potentially vulnerable to ‘county lines’ exploitation.
But Dr Mallett will also highlight the unique spiritual dimension churches can bring through prayer and pastoral support for communities affected.
(Lancashire Telegraph) Senior leaders in Diocese of Blackburn call on church to protect children from sex abus
he letter, sent to all clergy, readers and safeguarding officers in the Diocese of Blackburn, came following the release of the recent publication of the reports by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) on the Diocese of Chichester and the Peter Ball case.
That report found that The Church of England’s response to child sex abuse allegations was marked by secrecy and criticised former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey for supporting the disgraced former Bishop Peter Ball. Ball was jailed in 2015 for 32 months for offences against 18 teenagers and men between the 1970s and the 1990s.
Calling on all church leaders within the diocese to read the report and learn the lessons from it, the letter reads: “The church is one body, so whilst we may not ourselves have been directly involved in the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, we are fellow members of the body with those who have and so we are all called to repentance.
“The church should be the conscience of the nation and yet as the report shows, again and again we have placed the reputation of the institution above the needs of the vulnerable. In addition, when the contemporary church fails to respond properly to allegations from the past, this becomes a form of re-abuse, adding a fresh layer of hurt and harm to those whose lives are already damaged. Trite, formulaic apologies will not do. There has been grave sin within the church, and unless corporately we name, confess and deal with that sin, our mission to the nation is fatally undermined….”
The number of situations where the Church of England dealt with “concerns and allegations” about abuse rose by 50% between 2015 and 2017, figures show.
Incidents relating to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, including some allegations of serious criminal offences, increased to 3,287 in 2017, compared with 2,195 in 2015. They related to both current and past events, and about one-third of them required reporting to statutory agencies.
The figures were published on Wednesday (pdf), less than two weeks before the C of E faces scrutiny in a further round of hearings at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA). Last month, the C of E was heavily criticised for putting its reputation above the needs of abuse victims in a report published by the inquiry into the case of a former bishop, Peter Ball.
According to the latest data, 12% of concerns and allegations related to clergy. Others against whom concerns and allegations were made included church wardens, employees, volunteers, congregation members and people with church connections.
Church of England finds 50% rise in abuse claims and concerns https://t.co/WvoI3tp2qp
— NorfolkSAB (NSAB) (@NorfolkSAB) June 20, 2019
(Washington Post) Jamie Aten–How A Stephen Curry produced documentary explores forgiveness in the 2015 Charleston church shooting
Q: What first drew you to the “Emanuel” project?
A: I had just gotten married in June 2015, and I was on my honeymoon in New York. I walked into the bedroom, and my wife was crying. She told me nine people had been shot in their Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.
Then she looked at me and said, “You don’t understand, they’re forgiving him. The family members are forgiving the murderer.” I remember looking at her and saying, “I hope whoever tells that story doesn’t skip that part.” It was that moment for me — encountering this radical, scandalous forgiveness and love for the murderer — that drew me into the story. I wanted the world to know that part of the story.
Q: What was different in this story?
A: It was that they loved him. It was this moment when (survivor) Felicia Sanders said something to him that really changed me: “We enjoyed you.”
When I go out and talk about the film, I’m not just talking about them forgiving him because they wanted to be emotionally free from him. I’m talking about a kind of love you rarely see. Their love for the shooter was a love that said, “I will bear the full weight of the wrong,” which is the highest kind of love — a love for your enemy.
Thanks to @mercnews for picking up my interview with @EmanuelTheMovie director Brian Ivie. If you didn't get to a theater last night, you have one more chance to see this powerful film tomorrow night. @PrayAndActNow https://t.co/zoiGA128CQ
— Jamie Aten (@drjamieaten) June 18, 2019
The slayings at Emanuel AME sparked a surge or long-overdue reforms. It served as the impetus to finally remove the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds Charleston. Black people and their allies have long viewed the Confederate flag as the symbol par excellence of white supremacy. The murder of nine black people in a Bible study finally convinced enough white people that the Confederate flag might actually represent not heritage but hate.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu cited the Mother Emanuel tragedy as part of the motivation for his bold stand to take down the Confederate monuments in New Orleans. Landrieu first started calling for the monuments to come down less than a week after the Emanuel Nine were killed.
Racial progress is not a myth, but neither is it a completed project. We have come a long way from race-based chattel slavery. We have come a long way from signs over drinking fountains and riding the back of the bus. We have come a long way from preventing black people from sitting in the pews alongside white people.
But let’s not use racial progress as a reason to ignore the ways racism reinvents itself….
Today marks the Anniversary of the Murder of the Emanuel Nine, read @JemarTisby reflections: “Racial progress is not a myth, but neither is it a completed project…But let’s not use racial progress as a reason to ignore the ways racism reinvents itself.”https://t.co/Ao3Sg9ksld
— The Witness (@TheWitnessBCC) June 17, 2019
Remembering Especially the Charleston 9 who died 4 years ago today in the Mother Emanuel Church Shooting
Four years ago today.😔#MotherEmanuel #Charleston
Depayne Middleton Doctor
Daniel Simmons, Sr.
Myra Thompson pic.twitter.com/qHsjhon4ia
— Christine Sperow WBTV (@ChristineOnTV) June 17, 2019
(Local Paper) Emanuel AME church, shooting survivors form bonds with other traumatized houses of worship
Monday will mark four years since an angry young man with murderous intent slipped into Emanuel and headed for 12 people settling in for Bible study. He sat with them for about an hour, not speaking, until they shut their eyes for closing prayer.
Then he pulled out a gun.
Nine people died that night, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a state senator who was sitting beside the killer.
And the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., a retired minister who led the study most Wednesdays.
And Myra Thomson, who led it for the first time that night.
And Susie Jackson, at 87 the oldest among them to die.
And her nephew Tywanza Sanders, the youngest at 26.
And their cousin Ethel Lance, the church’s sexton, a mother of five.
And the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, mother of four.
And the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, mother of three.
And Cynthia Graham Hurd, mother of none but mentor to hundreds in her decades as a beloved librarian.
Nine families, the survivors and the church’s entire congregation found themselves thrust into a journey through what the Bible calls “the valley of the shadow of death.” Then they relived their losses anew with each mass shooting in America, including the Pulse nightclub massacre almost one year to the day after their loved ones died.
Today, we remember the nine who died four years ago in the #EmanuelAME Church massacre:
Tywanza Sanders, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, Dan Simmons Sr., Myra Thompson, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton & DePayne Middleton Doctor.https://t.co/pSaHRwxFOc
— Jennifer Berry Hawes (@JenBerryHawes) June 17, 2019
[MARY LOUISE] KELLY: Talk to me about the culture. I’m thinking of some reporting that our religion correspondent, Tom Gjelten, has been doing this week. He’s been interviewing Southern Baptist women. And they describe a culture that is resistant to change. Has that been your experience as you’ve interacted with church leaders?
[RACHAEL] DENHOLLANDER: You know, the honest truth is I think there’s a quite significant divide. Many of the leaders that I have interacted with are very committed to change. They recognize and understand the damage of sexual abuse. They are broken over what has taken place. That being said, there is certainly a faction within the SBC that remains resistant to change and that most importantly does not really understand some of the theological misinterpretations that so often lead church leaders to mishandle abuse, misunderstanding concepts of forgiveness and grace and dealing with abuse in the church instead of relying on outside experts to handle both the investigation and the counseling dynamics.
KELLY: What made you want to take this on?
DENHOLLANDER: You know, there are a lot of reasons. You know, the issue of abuse is obviously something that is very personal to me. I have lived the damage. I have seen the damage. In addition to that, I do come from a Christian perspective, a faith perspective. And so in many ways, this is part of my community. And you are most able to make change in the communities that you hold closest to you.
The Bishop of Ijebu North Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Revd. Solomon Kuponu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to arms smuggling which is posing serious threats to Nigeria’s internal security. The cleric made the call at the second session of the Fifth Synod of the diocese held at the St. James’ Anglican Church, Atikori, Ijebu- Igbo, with the theme: “Fight the Good Fight of Faith, Lay Hold on Eternal life.”
In his charge at the event, Kuponu expressed concern over the increasing rate of crime and arms proliferation in the country, noting that the arms being illegally imported into Nigeria were often used by bandits, militias and insurgents to terrorise innocent people. He condemned the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents, urging the Federal Government to confront them, and also asked the Buhari-led administration to dispense with commanders and intelligence chiefs that have failed the country in the fight against terrorism. He said: “Nigeria faces existential wars, terrorism and corruption. Both require sound strategies and continuous adaptation. Buhari should imbibe this in confronting the resurgent Boko Haram.”
(NYT) Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister
Read it all (not suitable content for all blog readers).
A mom told @villagechurchtx that her daughter was sexually molested at their camp. She expected support, an apology, one conversation with @MattChandler74, for her church to take responsibility. None of that ever came. #sbc19 My investigation –> https://t.co/ecOWZYjW7c
— Elizabeth Dias (@elizabethjdias) June 10, 2019
— Connie Landro (@clandro) June 5, 2019
At least 60 people are dead and over 300 injured after troops stormed the main camp of pro-democracy protesters in Sudan’s capital Monday, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD).
Death toll rises to 60 following Sudan crackdown
— CNN Africa (@CNNAfrica) June 5, 2019
All nine Muslim ministers in Sri Lanka’s government and two Muslim provincial governors resigned on Monday as the fragile, Buddhist-majority country grappled further with the communal backlash of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed as many as 250 people.
The resignations were in response to a hunger strike by an influential Buddhist monk, Athuraliye Rathana, who said he would fast to death unless the country’s president removed three senior Muslim officials — the two provincial governors and one of the ministers — that he accuses of having ties to the suicide bombers who targeted churches and hotels.
The eight ministers not targeted by Mr. Rathana announced their resignations in what appeared to be an act of solidarity with the three officials accused by the monk, who also serves as a member of Parliament and an adviser to the president, Maithripala Sirisena.
“A shameful day for our beloved Sri Lanka,” a Sri Lankan politician said after a hunger strike by a Buddhist monk forced the country’s Muslim ministers to resign en masse https://t.co/yLtJal0801
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) June 4, 2019
Court papers have revealed that the number of victims of the late John Smyth QC have exceeded 100.
Smyth, who groomed his victims when he was chair of the Iwerne camps from 1975-82, was previously known to have beaten at least 26 young men in the UK.
When his crimes came to light in 1982 the leadership of the Iwerne network arranged for him to move to Zimbabwe to work with a missionary organisation.
Once there, Smyth started his own network of camps, in which boys were routinely beaten for his sexual pleasure. A court case was launched but aborted in 1997, and court papers from that case reveal that as many as 90 boys made formal complaints against him.
Read it all (subscription).
Herewith the blurb form the publishers website:
In the warzone that Nigeria has become, Archbishop Ben Kwashi has survived three assassination attempts. A brutal assault on his wife, Gloria, drove him to his knees – to forgive and find the strength to press on. Islamist militants have Nigeria in their sights. These are the terrorists who kidnapped hundreds of Christian schoolgirls – who have vowed to turn Africa’s most populous nation into a hard-line Islamic state. Their plan is to drive the Christian minority from the north by kidnapping, bombing and attacking churches. Plateau State is on the frontline. But holding that line against Boko Haram, and standing firm for the Gospel, is Ben Kwashi, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos. In Jos, churches have been turned into fortresses and Archbishop Ben now conducts more funerals than weddings and baptisms put together. Yet his faith grows ever more vibrant. He has adopted scores of orphans who live in his home, including many who are HIV positive. And the challenge of his message – to live for the Gospel even in the face of terror – has never been so timely.
For yr reading lists–A new biography of the Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi ‘Neither Bomb Nor Bullet Benjamin Kwashi: The Archbishop they just couldn’t kill’ https://t.co/5egaZySDp6 #anglican #nigeria #terrorism #violence #bokoharam (hat tip: @goddardaj) #books #africa pic.twitter.com/qB2NmN3yyd
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 25, 2019
The call came in 2014, shortly after Easter. Four years earlier, Catrin Almako’s family had applied for special visas to the United States. Catrin’s husband, Evan, had cut hair for the U.S. military during the early years of its occupation of Iraq. Now a staffer from the International Organization for Migration was on the phone. “Are you ready?” he asked. The family had been assigned a departure date just a few weeks away.
“I was so confused,” Catrin told me recently. During the years they had waited for their visas, Catrin and Evan had debated whether they actually wanted to leave Iraq. Both of them had grown up in Karamles, a small town in the historic heart of Iraqi Christianity, the Nineveh Plain. Evan owned a barbershop near a church. Catrin loved her kitchen, where she spent her days making pastries filled with nuts and dates. Their families lived there: her five siblings and aging parents, his two brothers.
But they also lived amid constant danger. “Everybody who was working with the United States military—they get killed,” Catrin said. Evan had been injured by an explosion near a U.S. Army base in Mosul in 2004. Catrin worried about him driving back and forth to the base along highways that cross some of the most contested land in Iraq. Even after he stopped working for the military, they feared he might be a victim of violence. That fear was compounded by their faith: During the war years, insurgents consistently targeted Christian towns and churches in a campaign of terror.
The Almakos had watched neighbors and friends wrestle with the same question: stay, or go? Now more and more Christians in the region were deciding to leave. The graph of the religion’s decline in the Middle East has in recent years transformed from a steady downward slope into a cliff. The numbers in Iraq are especially stark: Before the American invasion, as many as 1.4 million Christians lived in the country. Today, fewer than 250,000 remain—an 80 percent drop in less than two decades.
Today, The Atlantic published a piece I have been working on for a long time, about one of the most powerful stories of our time: The decimation of Christianity in the Middle East. This is tragic, on its face. But it’s also devastating for democracy. 1/xhttps://t.co/Hw3oF8Bctw
— Emma Green (@emmaogreen) May 23, 2019
Hawes is a poised writer and a patient observer who trains her focus on the present. She gestures briefly to Charleston’s role as the epicenter of the nation’s slave trade (“as the Civil War approached almost three in four white families here had owned slaves”) and the long history of attacks on black churches, including Emanuel, which was first burned to the ground in 1822. Her primary interest is in the lives of the survivors and the families of the victims, “the people who will live this story forever.”
For most, trauma begat trauma: health problems, even sudden deaths. One widower lost 60 pounds and became unable to return to work. Bitter divisions flared. Eleven months after the shooting, Sharon Risher and Nadine Collier, two daughters of Ethel Lance, one of Roof’s victims, couldn’t even agree on a headstone for their mother. When Risher finally had one erected over the grave, Collier installed her own version directly in front of it. At one point, according to the author, Risher felt it was more likely that she might forgive Dylann Roof than her sister.
Even those who fought to return to some semblance of normalcy found that their lives had become uncomfortably public. Private people felt forced into activism and advocacy even as the shootings had left them adrift — and they felt spiritually abandoned by their church (which itself became mired in controversy after donations went missing).
Roof remains a shadowy figure in the narrative (see the journalist and critic Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s Pulitzer Prize-winning profile for a more detailed look at his life and radicalization). He is not even named at first, referred to only as “a young white man, lean of frame…”
Congrats @jenberryhawes on the @nytimes review of your fine forthcoming book about the Mother Emanuel tragedy and aftermath. Available 6-4-19! ‘Grace Will Lead Us Home,’ an Intimate Look at Forgiveness, Anger and Trauma After the Charleston Massacre https://t.co/ugubHjqCpf
— Kevin Sack (@ksacknyt) May 21, 2019
(LSE BR) Basil Cayli reviews ‘How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in the Middle East and Africa’ by Ziya Meral
The relationship between violence and religion is highly complex. Reductive analyses and explanations produce destructive outcomes. In How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in the Middle East and Africa, author Ziya Meral avoids popular explanations and refutes instrumentalism to offer the reader a systematic comparison that uncovers the complicated relationship between violence and religion. The book conveys the argument that violence shapes religion at different levels and religion influences the situation before the use of violence, its legitimisation in the course of violent attacks and its aftermath in a post-conflict era. As a result, what we see through these multidimensional interactions ‘is not an outcome of an intrinsic clash between imagined civilizations, but a very real case of self-fulfilled prophecies that create new fault lines across the world’ (176).
The author’s personal, academic and professional curiosity directed him towards showing the complexities in the multifaceted relationship between violence and religion (5). Meral argues that exposing these helps us to better understand the grim realities that lead to violence in different societies, where religion is perceived as a formidable social, political and cultural force. For this reason, Meral’s principal argument is based on two cases: Nigeria and Egypt. The meticulous analyses of violence in these two nation states reveal the dynamics of the relationship between religion and violent conflict in today’s world.
The author asks two key questions: 1) ‘Do religions in general, if not particularly Islam, cause such conflicts?’; and (2) ‘Are we really witnessing an escalation to extremes at a planetary level between followers of the world’s two largest religions, Islam and Christianity, showing itself in local conflicts between Muslim and Christian communities?’ (20). The book employs a comparative approach and analyses these questions within a political science theoretical framework. The multiplicity of ethno-religious communities in Nigeria on the one hand, and the disruptions of violence on the other, make the country an interesting case to study. The comparison of Nigeria with Egypt increases the originality of the book because an overwhelming majority of the population observe Islam in Egypt, whereas Muslims make up almost half of the population of Nigeria and are concentrated in the northern part of the country. Violence between Christian and Muslim communities is prevalent in Nigeria, while Egypt has millions of Christians who are frequently subject to discrimination and violence.
“The meticulous analyses of violence in [#Egypt and #Nigeria] reveal the dynamics of the relationship between #religion and violent #conflict in today’s world.” Read on for @DrBarisCayli‘s review of @Ziya_Meral‘s ‘How Violence Shapes Religion’ https://t.co/WEN6Tbznfo
— LSE Religion and Global Society (@LSE_RGS) May 20, 2019
SIMON: We met with a group of four women from different parts of America who share a solemn sorrow. Each was married to a police officer who took his life.
Kristen Clifford’s husband was Officer Steven Clifford of the Nassau County, N.Y., police. They had just gotten a puppy. They looked forward to having children. One day in May 2017, he wasn’t responding to her text messages, so she drove home.
KRISTEN CLIFFORD: And I went inside, and I saw a bunch of notes, his police identification, his driver’s license, everything laid out very neatly, methodically. And I ran down the hallway to our bedroom, and the door was closed. And there was a note on it that said, I did it. Do not enter. Call 911.
SIMON: Melissa Swailes was married to Officer David Swailes of the Los Angeles Police Department. They had four sons. David Swailes had symptoms of post-traumatic stress from his time in the U.S. Navy. On their youngest son’s second birthday, Melissa Swailes came home and found her husband behind their bathroom door.
MELISSA SWAILES: I remember just screaming over and over, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.
SIMON: Erin Gibson was married to Sergeant Clinton Gibson of the Liberty Lake, Wash., police. They were high school sweethearts. They had four children.
ERIN GIBSON: It didn’t even register in my mind that Clint was dead. Nothing made sense after that, so…
Must listen, raw, honest interview.
“We met with a group of four women from different parts of America who share a solemn sorrow. Each was married to a police officer who took his life.#PoliceSuicide #Suicide #BlueHELP
— Blue H.E.L.P. (@BlueHelpLE) May 19, 2019
A statement from members of the House of Bishops in response to The Anglican Church Case Studies IICSA report:
“We write on behalf of the whole House following the publication last week of the IICSA report into the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies. We recognise that the publication of this report causes most hurt and concern to survivors themselves. It reopens wounds.
“At this week’s meeting of the House of Bishops, Archbishop Justin asked every one of us to read and study the full report in detail and we are absolutely committed to this. The Church has failed survivors and the report is very clear that the Church should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. We are ashamed of our past failures, have been working for change but recognise the deep cultural change needed takes longer than we would like to achieve.
“We welcome the recommendations.
“The report will now go to the National Safeguarding Steering Group next month so the Church can formulate a detailed response to the findings and recommendations as we approach IICSA’s wider Church hearing in July. The lead bishop for safeguarding has been asked to report back to the House and to General Synod.
“It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report and act upon them”
Bishop Paul Butler
Bishop Christine Hardman
Bishop Peter Hancock
Bishop Sarah Mullally