The Soul of Europe stands with the people of Norway as they come to terms with the terrible events of Friday July 22nd. It is particularly tragic for the people ofNorwaywho have for many years been in the forefront of peace building, which we have experienced through the work of Norwegian Church Aid.
Before July 22nd the Soul of Europe together with our German partners from the Soest Forum of Religion and Cultures have been preparing The 7 Cities Project – outlined in our paper: New Directions.
Now our intentions need to be realised. We will establish across Europe a coalition of all those who value justice, dialogue and truth to dismantle Islamophobia and prevent the spread of the virus of the extreme Right.
This means strengthening, broadening and deepening the foundations of those committed to bridge building with Muslim communities.
There are three strands in the rhetoric of the extreme Right. The first is the appeal to religion – to memories of the Crusades. The second strand is the racism which the extreme Right endorses. At its worst it draws on the ideology of Nazism, so Muslims are becoming the new ‘Jews’ of Europe. The third strand is the myth of Islamification: the need to defend western civilisation from conquest through Muslim immigration and the spread of Sharia Law.
Our intention is to resist this rhetoric, so dispelling the fear which it generates.
We need your support for this work. Please write to me directly at email@example.com
Thank you for reading this.
The Revd Donald Reeves MBE
Directors the Soul of Europe.