As of Tuesday, December 11th, the Senate is poised to vote on ending US support of the war on Yemen. According to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders:
"Tomorrow, I will move to proceed to S.J. Res. 54, the resolution I have offered with Senators Lee and Murphy to end U.S. involvement in the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen. I am optimistic that a bipartisan coalition of senators will vote to make clear that the United States will no longer support Saudi Arabia in its incredibly destructive war. The Saudi intervention in Yemen has created the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, with millions of people facing imminent starvation. The time is long overdue for the United States to stop following the lead of Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime that recently murdered a dissident journalist and has no respect for human rights. Further, and importantly, the Senate must reassert its constitutional authority and end our support of this unauthorized and unconstitutional war."
Dr. Aisha Jumaan returns to the Beloved Community to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the latest political developments.
Dr. Jumaan is the founder and president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation. (http://www.yemenfoundation.com) , a nonprofit charity organization that aims to provide relief to the people of Yemen and support peace building efforts.
Professionally, Aisha has been working as an independent consultant in health related projects since April 2013. She manages and coordinates Health funded projects in Yemen, including the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). Prior to this Aisha was a consultant for CDC FETP program supporting FETP programs in the Middle East. In 2011 she helped establish the Yemen program (amid social and political unrest) in collaboration with CDC, WHO and the Ministry of Public Health and Population.
Between 2008 and 2010, Aisha was the Director of the HPV vaccine project at PATH working in India, Peru, Vietnam and Uganda. She has served as a Senior Epidemiologist for over 10 years in several divisions at CDC, including Cancer, Immunizations, Nutrition and Environmental Health. She has been the primary investigator on several research projects and provided epidemiological and statistical technical expertise. As an Assistant Professor at both Emory University School of Public Health in the Epidemiology Department and at Sana’s University in Yemen under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aisha developed and taught intermediate epidemiology to graduate students as well as epidemiology and biostatistics to medical students.
While in Yemen, Aisha served as a National Program Officer for the United Nations Population Fund and as a Health Program Officer for the United Nations Development Fund, supervising several major programs in collaboration with local government institutions. She developed and implemented training programs for US Peace Corps Primary Health Care Volunteers in Yemen, and has evaluated training programs for Primary Healthcare Workers for the Dutch Volunteer Organization SNV. Aisha holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, an MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University, and a BA in Biology from Mills College.
Rev. Connie Tuttle tells her story of being a queer prophet.
Connie Lee Tuttle is the pastor of Circle of Grace, a small, progressive, ecumenical, feminist, Christian house church in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary on a path to ordination within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) She was refused ordination because she is a lesbian. (The denomination has since changed its policies).
In her book, A Gracious Heresy: The Queer Calling of An Unlikely Prophet, she recounts her story, calling herself “slumgullion”, army brat, and third culture kid. She brings it altogether in a story of grace, stumbling, and seeking what is true and good, often outside the box.
She writes at ConnieTuttle.com
December 10th 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Is it now time for the truth?
Investigative Reporter, Hugh Turley, makes the case that the conclusion that Thomas Merton died by accident cannot possibly be true. Hugh Turley and David Martin are co-authors of the 2018 book, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton, An Investigation.
John Shuck speaks live with Hugh Turley on Beloved Community about the death of Thomas Merton, who was an anti-war author and spiritual leader. He died mysteriously on December 10th, 1968 in Thailand.
“Merton was in apparent good health and at the height of his productive powers when he died suddenly and mysteriously while attending a monastic conference, on December 10th, 1968, near Bangkok, Thailand. He was 53 years old. Up to now, no one has examined the circumstances of his death systematically, critically, and what is most important honestly. That is our purpose here.” p. 2.
Hugh Turley, as a volunteer columnist for the Hyattsville Life and Times was winner of the National Newspaper Association award for best serious column, small circulation, non-daily division.
The myth of the hero is as contemporary as Hollywood films and as ancient as 40,000 year-old cave paintings. Bernie Taylor, naturalist and author discusses this myth and how it shapes religion and science.
Bernie Taylor is a naturalist, thought leader and author whose research explores the mythological connections and biological knowledge among prehistoric, indigenous and ancient peoples. His works in these areas include Biological Time (2004) and Before Orion: Finding the Face of the Hero (2017). Before Orion is premised on Joseph’s Campbell’s hero's journey monomyth that is at the core of stories worldwide among indigenous peoples, the ancients, and our modern society. Before Orion explores a deeper root for this monomyth by looking at how hunter-gatherers viewed themselves within the natural and spiritual worlds through Paleolithic cave art from 40,000 years ago. Taylor proposes that select cave paintings are fundamental pieces in the human journey to self-realization, the foundation of written language, and a record of biological knowledge that irrevocably impacted some of the artistic styles, religious practices, and stories that are still with us. Taylor addresses a profound archaeological elephant in the room by opening up an uncharted place in our history, which points to the cultural ancestors of mankind. His work will change the idea of who you think you are.
Historian of Religion, Stephen Patterson, reconstructs one of the earliest Christian Creeds that Emphasized Radical Egalitarianism.
One of the earliest creeds of the Jesus Movement may be embedded in one of the letters of Paul. It is an unusual creed in that it says nothing about the nature of God or salvation, but rather what it means to be human. Historian of religion, Stephen J. Patterson, returns to Progressive Spirit to talk about this creed and his book, The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism. It was utilized and altered by Paul in Galatians 3:26-28, but Stephen Patterson reconstructs the original creed to be the following:
For you are all children of God in the Spirit.
There is no Jew or Greek,
there is no slave or free,
there is no male and female,
For you are all one in the Spirit.
Dr. Patterson argues that this ancient creed is timely for today as it challenges ethnic, class, and gender divisions.
Stephen J. Patterson is the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. A historian of religion, Patterson specializes in the origins of Christianity, especially the hidden histories founding books that were not included in the Bible. He has authored and co-authored nine books and more than a hundred essays, articles, and reviews, including most recently, The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins (2013) and The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins (2014).
Having just returned from Iraq for Arbaeen in which over 15 million people from all over the world converged on the Holy City of Karbala, John Shuck discusses his experience and the significance of the world’s largest event with Iraqi refugee and Portland resident, Hanan Al-Zubaidy, and geo-political analyst from the U.K., Catherine Shakdam.
Hanan Al-Zubaidy was instrumental in bringing the Ramadan Tent Project to the United States. Catherine Shakdam recently wrote a couple of articles about Arbaeen entitled, “Millions of Muslims, Over 60 Nations Gather to Reject Terror in Iraq” and “The Great March to Arbaeen.”
Arbaeen is the largest peaceful gathering on Earth and yet hardly anyone in the United States even knows about it.
Hanan Al-Zubaidy is an Iraqi refugee who moved to the United States with her family in the early 90’s. Settling in Portland Oregon, Hanan is a recent graduate of Portland State University where she earned her masters in Educational Leadership and Policy. Focusing her work on marginalized populations, Hanan is currently volunteering with Larch Correctional Facility and sits on the board Human Rights Council of Washington County.
Catherine Shakdam is a geopolitical analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen and the Gulf countries, Catherine Shakdam has been published across several prominent media outlets including: The Huffington Post, Sputnik, Citizen Truth, Press TV, The New Eastern Outlook, RT, MintPress, Ayatollah Khameini’s website, Open Democracy, the Foreign Policy Journal, The Duran, The American Herald Tribune, Katehon, and many more. Catherine has been instrumental in breaking media silence over Yemen’s war, and the tragedy which has befallen the impoverished nation.
In 2015 she authored: Arabia’s Rising – Under The Banner Of The First Imam.
Why do the powers that be try to convince us that there is a “clash of cultures” or a conflict between Islam and the West or between Islam and Christianity?
To answer that, Dr. John Andrew Morrow discusses his book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. We learn that Christianity and Islam co-existed peacefully with full protections for Christians for 1400 years. These covenants
“uniformly state that Muslims are not to attack peaceful Christian communities, rob them, stop churches from being repaired, tear down churches to build mosques, prevent their Christian wives from going to church and taking spiritual direction from Christian priests and elders, etc. On the contrary, the Prophet commands Muslims to actively protect these communities ‘until the End of the World’.”
In this informative conversation we learn about the rise of European Colonialism and its handmaiden, Islamic Fundamentalism (now funded and supported by the U.S., the Saudis, and Israel) and the role of these modern powers in smearing Islam and framing Muslims as “terrorists” for geopolitical interests.
Dr. John Andrew Morrow was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1971. Raised in a multilingual family, he lived in Montreal for ten years and in the Greater Toronto Area for another twenty. The product of a Catholic education, he completed his elementary school in French, his high school in English, and his university studies in English, French, and Spanish. He embraced Islam at the age of 16 after which he adopted the name Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam. After completing his Honors BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Toronto, where he acquired expertise in Hispanic, Native, and Islamic Studies, he pursued post-graduate studies in Arabic in Morocco and the United States. Besides his Western education, Dr. Morrow has completed the full cycle of traditional Islamic seminary studies both independently and at the hands of a series of Sunni, Shi’i, and Sufi scholars. Not only is he a senior scholar, academic, and professor, he is also a respected ‘alim holding the titles of ustadh, duktur, hakim, and shaykh.
Dr. Morrow has spent over a decade and a half in the United States working at various universities including Park University, Northern State University, Eastern New Mexico University, the University of Virginia, and Ivy Tech where he was unanimously appointed to the rank of Full Professor. One of his most noteworthy and memorable experiences involved working as a professor of advanced Spanish, Islamic culture, and world literature for the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea Program. Aside from his academic duties, Dr. John Andrew Morrow is the Director of the Covenants Foundation, an organization dedicated to disseminating traditional, civilizational, Islam; promoting Islamic unity; protecting persecuted Christians; and improving relations between Muslims and members of other faiths. He regularly travels the world to promote peace and justice.
Dr. John Andrew Morrow is a Native North American and a proud member of the Metis Nation.
On February 3rd, 2018, Roots of Conflict and KBOO/Portland, co-sponsored a presentation at Portland State University called US-Saudi Coalition: Bringing Peace or War?
In this episode you will hear from Yemeni activist, Aisha Jumaan and Mohammad al-Nimr, son of executed Sheik Nimr. They speak boldly and clearly about the Saudi war crimes against Yemen that are assisted by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Aisha Jumaan is a public-health specialist working as a consultant on heath-related projects in Yemen. She offered a statistically detailed presentation of the human catastrophe going on in Yemen, as a result of the Saudi imposed war on that ancient country. More than fourteen million people require immediate humanitarian assistance and seven million are at risk of famine.
Dr. Jumaan is the President of Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation.
Mohammad Al-Nimr, the son of Shia cleric, Shikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudis for speaking out against Saudi human rights abuses, also spoke about the history of the formation of Saudi Arabia, its control by the royal family and Wahhabism and US complicity in the House of Sauds wars of aggression.
Special thanks to David Rogers for recording the event and giving Progressive Spirit permission to edit it for radio broadcast.
On April 28th 2018, The Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle sponsored an interfaith educational event called Husayn Day. The event was a reflection upon Husayn, the martyred grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. Rather than bow to his oppressors, he, along with 72 family members were killed in Karbala, Iraq in 680 CE. He is considered a martyr for justice, truth, love, and resistance. He is a leading figure in Shia Islam and his death is mourned each year by between 15 and 20 million pilgrims who visit his shrine during the forty-day period of mourning from Ashura to Arbaeen.
In the these two episodes, you will hear speeches from the presenters on Husayn and the yearly pilgrimage to his shrine. The presenters include, Dr. John Morrow, Sister Nicole Correri, Sheikh Fadhel Al-Salani, Sheik Ahmed Bahriny, Mohammad Baig, and me, John Shuck.
The west is ignorant about Islam and, in particular, Shia Islam and the person of Hussain. Twenty million people visit his shrine each year. This the largest annual gathering of human beings on planet Earth. Yet, Western media ignores it.
In this episode you will hear more about Husayn, and how he is for those who are devoted to him, a door to truth and justice, and how his sacrifice revealed the true Islam, the Islam of love.
In this episode you will hear from…
Sheikh Fadhel Al-Sahlani. Shiekh Al-Sahlani is the current leader of the Al-Khoei Foundation in New York.
Sheik Ahmed Bahriny. Sheik Ahmed Bahriny is the resident imam and religious director of the Islamic Education Center in Potomoc, Maryland.
Maulana Mohammad Baig. Maulana Baig leads the Alwalayah Community in Montclair, California.
You will also hear a speech I gave at the event.
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli discusses Arbaeen: The Walk, the first book in English about the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Husayn
15 - 20 million people participate in the annual pilgrimage to Karbala, Iraq to visit the shrine of 7th century martyr, Imam Husayn. Yet few in the West know about it. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli has written the first book about Arbaeen in English. It is called Arbaeen: The Walk. It is a guide for participants and a helpful reference for English speakers to learn about the phenomenon of Arbaeen.
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli (Facebook, Twitter) is an Islamic scholar and speaker who has visited and presented lectures in many parts of the world. He has an MA in Islamic Studies at Middlesex University in the UK. For over ten years, Sheikh Al-Hilli studied Hawza (Islamic Seminary Education) in London and Najaf. He is a teacher for Hawza studies for the Islamic College in London. He is currently head of the Islamic Education Department at Noor Trust in the UK, conducting Quranic commentary programs, marriage workshops as well as youth activities.
Sheikh Al-Hilli has taken part in the Najaf to Karbala Arbaeen walk annually since 2012 with the Spiritual Journeys Ziyarah group.