In recent months, the U.S. is seeing increased instances all over the country of de-humanizing "the other" by both words and actions. Last Fall, the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University released a national poll of Catholics and their attitudes towards Muslims and Islam. The report found that most American Catholics do not personally know a Muslim and most do not have a good understanding of Islam as a religion. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that many Catholic publishers, media outlets, and some prominent Catholics perpetuate fear of Muslims and promote Islamophobia.
At the same time, both the Christian Bible and the Qur’an have mandates for caring for creation. Franciscans have as a large piece of their charism to care for all of God’s creation. The planet right now is deeply troubled by consumerism and disregard. Many people of faith are needed to show the moral responsibility all people have towards caring for the environment. Pope Francis has named “Care for our Common Home” as an 8th work of mercy for Catholics. In partnership with Muslim sisters and brothers, we can show the world that we can accomplish more together.