Diana Eck Speaks about Efforts to Maintain Interfaith Friendship

October 9, 2002

Source: USA Today


On October 9, 2002 USA Today reported that "the attorneys general for California, Nebraska and Texas report surges in hate crimes in the past year, largely a result of a post-Sept. 11 backlash against Muslims and Arabs... 'There is no doubt that tension and longstanding turbulence in other parts of the world transfer into relations in the United States,' says Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard University and director of the school's Pluralism Project. Conflict abroad 'affects friendships here and what people feel they can say even to their closest friends.' But even in these troubled times, Eck says, she has seen efforts on the personal level to maintain Jewish-Muslim-Christian relations in the USA. 'All of us need to be able to sort out religious communities from political use of religious symbols to rally us to different causes,' she says. 'Friendships displace globalizing stereotypes.'"