In an interfaith movement, what are we fighting? On one hand, there is the explicit mission statement of World Faith, which states we are countering “religiously inspired hatred, war, and division.” So that is simple enough. But this is perhaps only part of the story.
As with any organization with any message. In order to “fight” an idea or societal ill, we have to mobilize against it. This requires those who agree with the mission that take action. This is where things get tricky. While many or perhaps most people form most societies would agree with the basis of our mission statement, not many are willing to take a stand. In fact I would say that over 90% of youths in religious diverse societies agree with our mission statement. Yet, I would also venture to say that the religious extremism still holds the attention of the world because of their superior mobilization.
So then what must be done to mobilize those who remain inactive? While not everyone needs to be a revolutionary, more people must take action, but sometimes it just reguires the right people, not the masses. For instance, policy makers need to become aware of the importance of cross-religious understanding as a building block of national identity and as a safe guard from communal violence. We still often times hear of conflict in the cosmic war sense… that “this is us versus them and we must win.” Also, we need to engage the media, and not just intellectual media, but all media. These concepts can be woven into pop culture, such as tv shows, movies, and music. There are many examples of where this is true, but its a matter of sheer quantity. Until more quality media content framing the story of religious becomes predominent, it will continue to be an uphill battle. Thus, we don’t only fight the fear and anger that inspires communal violence, but the apathy that allows it to continue unchallenged.