Impromptu Interfaith Solidarity Readathing


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Impromptu Interfaith Solidarity Readathing

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Sep 8, 2010, 5:06 pm

Anyone interested in spending some time this coming Saturday (September 11th) holding a "read about a religion you don't practice" Readathon? . . . seems an appropriate reaction to folks burning books down in Florida . . . just a thought.

Sep 8, 2010, 6:38 pm

here's a good article about the situation from Time.

i'm all for an Interfaith Solidarity ReadaThing! i think it is perfectly timed. thanks for the great idea gocubsgo. now i just need to figure out which moving box my religious texts are packed in....

Sep 9, 2010, 8:37 am

There's a Facebook event (I think it's mostly just my college) of people who are going to read (whatever they want) for an hour or so during the time when the burning of the Koran is supposed to take place.

In other words, I'm in.

Sep 9, 2010, 9:05 am

I'm in, too. I just bought this and I'll be reading that.

Sep 9, 2010, 10:01 am

I think I need to read this one:

or this one:

I've lent or given away all of my books on Islam... need to find more... as if I need more books.

If I could find a book on Islam that is like the first book here on Jewish Spirituality & Practices I'd be in good shape!

Sep 9, 2010, 10:06 am

EXCELLENT. I'm so glad this is happening. I'm going to read Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong. This story, in conjunction with the furore over the Islamic centre being planned near Ground Zero, has painted a really depressing picture of religious intolerance in America. It's good to know that people are willing to speak out against this.

This seems like a good spot to plug another book-related event happening in response to this absurd bonfire: Saturday is also "International Buy A Qu'ran Day" -!/event.php?eid=150688798285997

(As an aside, where I come from, Terry Jones is a name associated with Monty Python. Ironic, then, that the latest Terry Jones is the leader of a faith community - now that's what I really call a joke!)

Sep 9, 2010, 10:24 am

#6: pokarekareana, I used to have that book, but I gave it away to someone who needed it more...

Edited: Sep 9, 2010, 10:40 am

Thanks for the great links!
I particularly liked the video posted at the FB International Read a Book Day page:

Still trying to decide what I will read . . .

A friend has recommended Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam by Kamran Pasha. If I can find that one by Saturday, I may start it then.

Also just remembered that I recently bought a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi . . . that seems pretty appropriate as well.

Finally, I notice that I'm straying a bit from my original "read about religion" theme . . . so I would encourage others to follow the spirit of the event rather than my original lame attempt to describe what we might read . . .

Edited: Sep 9, 2010, 12:37 pm

I'll be reading The Talmud: A Selection.

I'm of two minds about responding to this jerk. We'd all have been better off ignoring him in the first place. This is a nation of 300 million people--someone's trying to get people to notice something hateful they're doing every minute of the day. (This topic came up before on LT when the "God Hates Fags" people threatened to protest at my son's school.) Still, ignoring is no longer an option, and I understand why people want to respond in an affirmative way.

Sep 9, 2010, 12:34 pm

Very good idea. I'm in!

Sep 9, 2010, 12:46 pm

Oh my gosh! I'm in! And that amazing YouTube video will be part of my blog post for that day.

Sep 9, 2010, 12:49 pm

Sep 9, 2010, 1:12 pm

>9 timspalding: totally agree Tim.
tried to ignore it as long as I could . . .
then decided I do believe in fighting evil with good :)
but will definitely make every effort to ignore all media coverage of the event

Sep 9, 2010, 1:45 pm

I had initially wanted to read The Bible (no, not The Cake Bible, touchstones!), since it's a book I'm not familiar with, but I've decided to read The Koran, in hopes that it balances out all those who think lighting a holy book on fire is the way to resolving cross-cultural tension.

I'm hoping* the media glommed on to this blip of a protest to help us learn a lesson on how to react/mourn/demonstrate our feelings for next year's 10th anniversary, when I'm sure we'll be thinking about the 2001 date more than some previous years.

*I'm an optimist, and also sarcastic. It's a good combo.

Edited: Sep 9, 2010, 2:04 pm

Suggestion: Can someone blog that we are doing this?

I'm going over to the local library & get a better book than my choice here. I'm going to grab (& check out) a book on Islam & read publicly someplace...

I'll report back here... as we usually do when we have a ReadaThing Readathon.

edited to add: we don't have to state that this is a protest, but just that it is just what the title of this thread is... an Impromptu Interfaith Solidarity Readathon for 9/11!

Sep 9, 2010, 2:04 pm

Okay, I'm in. I'll probably be reading some NT apocrypha.

Sep 9, 2010, 2:45 pm

What a fabulous idea! I'll try and write up a blog post tomorrow..

Sep 9, 2010, 3:59 pm

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Sep 9, 2010, 4:52 pm

#9 - Sadly, its a fact of life that people with despicable views will not be silenced if we simply choose to ignore them; they will continue to try to turn people to their way of thinking. I see it as our task to refute their arguments, and ultimately to show these ideas up for what they are - unpleasant, divisive and ignorant. It doesn't matter how we refute them, but I think this is a pretty good example of a vocal protest against it - we were probably all going to be reading something this Saturday, so we may as well try to educate ourselves to spot the gaping holes in Jones' Islamophobic rants.

A year or two ago, we had a similar debate in the UK when Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (a very far-right political party, which supports the deportation of all non-whites "back to where they came from") was invited to appear on a primetime political panel TV show; he did appear, and was made to look a complete fool. Job done. Nobody could claim that he spoke coherently, or that his arguments were at all compelling. Of course, the lunatic fringe thought he was wonderful, but the general consensus was that the BBC had been right to bring him into the public arena, just so that a few of his more mainstream colleagues could destroy his arguments. Since then, he's been banned from a Buckingham Palace garden party and his party fared pretty badly in the recent elections, thank goodness.

Sep 9, 2010, 4:52 pm

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Sep 9, 2010, 4:58 pm

I'm in - and choosing something about a religion I don't practice is easy - since I don't practice any of them. However, I don't own any books about religion except a Bible and I don't want to read that again.

Have to go to the public library tonight and will look there for something interesting and failing that, I shall dig through my personal library for some fiction where a real-world religion plays a part - like The Nine Billion Names of God, or A Case of Conscience, or Good Omens. Or a book that has been blacklisted by some religion - fairly sure I have a few of those.

Sep 9, 2010, 7:19 pm

Just heard the burning has been called off . . . but will still be reading on Saturday. Went to the public library and got 3 books on Islam and 3 on Judaism . . . so now I have 8-10 books to choose from!

Love the idea of doing this reading in public, but given the week I've had will probably hide in my house instead.

And yes, let's all post here what/when/where we actually read on Saturday . . . unless someone else wants to set up a Wiki (I'm hopeless with Wikis :)

Sep 9, 2010, 7:51 pm

Glad to hear that it's called off - I'll read anyway too!

Sep 9, 2010, 8:09 pm

Great idea! I'm trying to choose between Arab and Jew or The Lemon Tree. Both have been on my TBR pile for far too long.

Edited: Sep 9, 2010, 10:22 pm

I went to my little public library and the choices were few... I really didn't want Islam for Dummies, it was big & garish & gaudy. I did get What do Muslims Believe? which looks better. I know a fair amount, but there are always holes to fill in. And I've got the book I mentioned above The rituals and practices of a Jewish life which I will read a bit of, too. I'm not sure where I will go, yet, but I will go somewhere.

Sep 9, 2010, 10:05 pm

burning is back on again and now includes the 'god hates fags' lunatics in Kansas.

Glad to see ALL the nuts aren't in Florida. I tend to get a bit embarrassed about my poor state being held up for ridicule so often, sigh.

Sep 9, 2010, 10:16 pm

I'd like to join in, but I'm not sure what to read. I'd like to read something uplifting or positive about Muslims.

I see that I have Nine Parts of Desire on my tbr pile. I don't know if it's a positive read but I do like Geraldine Brooks so I may give that a try.

Sep 9, 2010, 10:43 pm

sorry I spoke too soon about the cancelation . . . should have known that others would "pick up the slack" egads!

Sep 9, 2010, 10:55 pm

My local public library branch had a very meager selection of non-Christian books in the adult non-fiction (and I don't have time to place requests or go to main branch) so I went to the kids section and got a very nice-looking book about Islam. Lots of pictures and I'm sure it's extremely simplified, but that's just fine - I' m not much of a non-fiction reader and I know so little about Islam that I'm sure I'll learn something.

Sep 10, 2010, 12:21 am

it is sad to see crazies (of any creed) get so much attention, but that is, unfortunately, the nature of the technological world we live in. information spreads so fast and so far and the nut jobs get way more than 15 mins of infamy.

it is nice, however, to see small efforts like this one crop up in reaction to the negativity. i'm so glad to be a part of this community!

tardis 29, i wish i could find a book about Islam that was as charming as The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow.

as a Religious Studies student, i really loved The Word of Islam when i read it. anything by John Esposito should be good- a lot of my religion textbooks were written or edited by him (try What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam for a good quick reference).

i'm probably going to read a bit of various things: a little from the Qu'ran, a little bit of hadith, a little from the Upanisads...

Sep 10, 2010, 1:43 am

So do we have a time schedule somewhere?

Sep 10, 2010, 1:43 am

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Sep 10, 2010, 7:07 am

BarkingMatt, I don't think we are using a time schedule for this one with such impromptu timing... just read when you can, where you can, for as long as you can and as many times as you can.

Report here what you are reading & any of the following; where you read, how long you read, what you think about what you read, and anything else you feel is appropriate.



Sep 10, 2010, 9:04 am

Yes, and have a nice Rosh Hashannah too.

Edited: Sep 10, 2010, 9:40 am

Shana Tova!

and the greeting for Eid al-fitr is

Eid Saeed!

(I forgot which one it was, so it was easier to say Happy Eid! than say something wrong.)

Sep 10, 2010, 11:07 am

Tim (librarythingtim) tweeted: "LibraryThing members organizing a "read about a religion you don't practice" ReadaThon"

Edited: Sep 10, 2010, 12:47 pm

just saw this NPR article, Before Burning the Quran, Know What's In It.

eta: I just posted an announcement about the readathing on my blog, which you can read here.

Sep 10, 2010, 1:52 pm

Thanks atlargeintheworld!
Couldn't have put it better myself . . .

Also finally found a local event to cap the day . . . one of our local churches will be reading from the Qur'an at 5pm with some instruction from a teacher of world religions . . .

So thanks in advance to my virtual and real communities for helping me find positive ways to deal with disturbing realities.

Edited: Sep 13, 2010, 5:42 pm

I'll participate as well. I will be reading A spectator's Guide to World Religions: An introduction to the big five. I bought this earlier in the week because I have found myself wanting to know more about all teh religions arround me. I plan to start with this and explore these religions and others further.

When I was a kid my mother belonged to a Muslim-Christian dialog group. They met monthly in somone from teh group's home and discussed the similarities, diffrences, and just religion in the world today. It was nice to have that in the home as I was growing up. I find it nice to see initatives like that and this readathing, showes most people of all faithes (or no faiths) are accepting and interested in other religions.

Happy reading to everyone participating. I'll check in tommorrow.

ETA: My saturday reading was good. I read the sections on Hinduism on Saturday. The author is frank about his own point of view and presents lots of interesting information about Hinduism. I look forward to the rest of the book.
A few of his analogies are a bit strange, but most are helpful.

Sep 10, 2010, 5:37 pm

A non-LT friend who will be joining in on the readathon reminded me of the site as a source for folks whose libraries are lacking in imagination in the religion section. Lots of info about different religions . . .

Also, their Book of the Month for September 2010 is:
Toward a true kinship of faiths by the Dalai Lama which sounds like an appropriate possibility if you can find it . . .

Sep 10, 2010, 7:19 pm

I'll be reading Three Cups of Tea, not so much about Islam, but about an American willing to put aside preconceived notions, humble himself and be helpful in a real and meaningful way. It shows a lot of respect towards those who practice Islam as he dedicates his life to building schools in some of the hardest to reach places in Pakistan.

Edited: Sep 11, 2010, 1:14 am

I read Three Cups of Tea earlier this year and passed it on to my MIL.

ETA I had more to say about it but the words just wouldn't come out right. Suffice to say, I thought the book inspiring.

Sep 11, 2010, 3:15 am

Whoops, I just found out about this when I got the daily digest of Leah's lovely blog posting. Saturday is mostly over down under but I'll put aside my bedtime read to dip into World Religions again.

Peace be unto you all. You don't need an invisible friend in the sky to do it. We're all the same and we're all there is.

Sep 11, 2010, 5:50 am

C. 11:50 (am) my local time. Starting on The Revelation of Peter (in Dutch) in Apocriefe openbaringen, orakels en brieven

Sep 11, 2010, 6:10 am

Now that can have no validity, Saint Peter didn't speak Dutch! Obviously you have to burn that one and get an authorised version in English.

It's a joke, Matt! Matt! Down Matt! Sit! Good boy.

Edited: Sep 11, 2010, 7:19 am

Well, that was pretty disappointing. Pretty much the same old stuff about the resurrection of the dead, and the last judgment.

Although, I did learn that this text was seen as canonical by several early Christian communities (and by Clement of Alexandria for instance).

>45 justjim:: Since they've had to reconstruct this book from one Greek and one Ethiopian copy (apparently), I guess it mostly did get burned in late antiquity.

p.s.: will probably read some more later today.

Sep 11, 2010, 7:34 am

Just read an hour in Koscher& Co. I'll probably read more later.

Sep 11, 2010, 11:04 am

Don't have much time to read today, but started in on The Koran - A Very Short Introduction by Michael Cook. Interestingly, this was published the year before 9/11, so I do wonder if it would have been written differently if it had been done after that.

Sep 11, 2010, 12:00 pm

i'm reading hadiths over at the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement website. i think this one is the star of the day.

"The Prophet said, "Allah has accepted my invocation to forgive what whispers in the hearts of my followers, unless they put it to action or utter it." (See Hadith No. 657 Vol. 8)"

Sep 11, 2010, 12:07 pm

I'm blogging about my day over at:

So far I've read sections in:
Abraham by Bruce Feiler
Inviting God In by Rabbi David Aaron
What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism by Robert Schoen

I definitely recommend the first two, but didn't get much out of the third.

Now on to Islam and Ramadan . . .

Sep 11, 2010, 5:14 pm

added another post at about What do Muslims Believe?. Heading off now to a "Prayerful Action: Reading the Quran on September 11, 2010" at a local church.

Sep 11, 2010, 7:54 pm

another one reading What Do Muslims Believe? but I couldn't get away from home so I read at home...

good book. good explanations...

now I have some questions for my Muslim friends... clarification, etc.

Just the way a small book on Christianity doesn't describe all Christian beliefs, I'm sure this doesn't cover all Islamic beliefs.

Sep 11, 2010, 11:22 pm

I realized after the fact that I participated unintentionally in this Readathing. I happened to be reading The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot in the park this morning.

Sep 12, 2010, 12:33 am

Just don't kiss any of us.

Sep 12, 2010, 2:01 am

Any of you FaceBook peeps, they're holding a Galactic Don't Burn a Koran Day:

Sep 17, 2010, 12:15 am

I just came across this thread today. You guys are awesome! It's so comforting to know there are thoughtful people out there too, to balance out the rest.

I couldn't have participated in the Impromptu Interfaith Solidarity Readathing anyway. We were having a pool party on Saturday. I left out The 9/11 Report: The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States which people browsed through.