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Peace & Life Connections #243
January 16, 2015

Austin Texas: Making the Connections: Life, Peace & Justice
        Online registration is now available for our regional conference in Austin, Texas. It’s happening Saturday, February 14, from 9 to 5. Featured keynote speakers are Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood employee who’s now a pro-life activist, and Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking . There are also many exciting workshops.
243 Austin
January 22 Events: Roe v. Wade Anniversary
        Our events page has more information for those who want to hook up with us at national events. We also have resources to print up to spread the CL word at your local events around the U.S.
Muslims and Nonviolence
         Muslims have been pouring into the streets in many cities to protest the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. In Paris, where the massacre occurred, they have passed out flowers to others in the massive nonviolent protests.
        Islam boasts the world’s first (and so far, only) nonviolent army, the Khudai Khidmatgars, meaning the Servants of God. This was part of the struggle of India for independence, in the north of India (now Pakistan). Muslims formed a major part of that Gandhian movement, along with many other nonviolent campaigns for toppling dictators and otherwise establishing justice. Egypt, for example, had not only the recent Arab Spring but successful nonviolent revolutions in 1805 and in the early 1920s.  
         Beginning in Arabia at a time when female infanticide, revenge feuds and tribal warfare were rampant, Islam set up nonviolent ways of worship and emphasized community. Female infanticide is explicitly condemned in Qur’an 16:58-59 and 81:8-9.
 243 French
Photo from Twitter: The sign in French reads:
“I am French, Muslim, and Against Terrorism”

Quotation of the Week
Statement, “The Beloved Community and the Unborn

        As our nation pauses to recommit itself to fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite our fellow citizens to reflect on how that dream touches every human life. Dr. King taught that justice and equality need to be as wide-reaching as humanity itself. Nobody can be excluded from the Beloved Community.
        The work of building the Beloved Community is far from finished. In each age, it calls us to fight against poverty, discrimination, and violence in every form. And as human history unfolds, the forms that discrimination and violence take will evolve and change. Yet our commitment to overcome them must not change, and we must not shrink from the work of justice, no matter how unpopular it may become.
In our day, therefore, we cannot ignore the discrimination, injustice, and violence that are being inflicted on the youngest and smallest members of the human family, the children in the womb. . . . None of that has to change in order for us to embrace Dr. King’s affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. It simply means that in our efforts to set free the oppressed, we include the children in the womb.
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