Combating the Cancer of Extremism panel was held at Pacifica Institute Silicon Valley Branch in Sunnyvale on February 18, 2016.
Communities across the United States and around the World have been suffering from extremist views resorting to violence for many years. Extremism is usually fueled by some inflammatory and hateful rhetoric from mainstream figures in the Society. The panelists, representing Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have presented their views on combating extremism, the presentation was followed by a Q&A session with the audience. In the end, the common consensus to combat extremism was all-inclusive education. By all-inclusive education, we mean an education that expands on teachings of other cultures, religions, and ways of lives. Being a part of Bay Area’s fabric is a great privilege for all of us as we directly experience other cultures, get to know them, become friends with them, and get to love them. Events like these help foster understanding of each other, building bridges between different communities of this great fabric. We, as humans, stand against all kinds of extremist views, and we, as humans, will continue to create opportunities that foster dialogue between different cultures.
After a long career at Kaiser Permanente as a pediatrician, Eli retired and is now an active member in many Jewish organizations. He served on the Santa Clara County’s Human Relations Commission and has helped plan the County Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony. Eli attended the University of Michigan and received his M.D. at the University of Chicago. He and his wife have two grown children and three granddaughters. Eli represents the Jewish religion.
Henry holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies, with a focus on Jewish-Christian relations, from UC Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union, and has taught humanities and history of religion at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and the Graduate Theological Union. He worked for 16 years in language and cultural preservation with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, where he participated in their traditional religious life. His interfaith experience also includes involvement with Jewish and Buddhist communities. Henry represents the Christian religion.
Maha is the founder of ING and author of training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims as well as training seminars for public institutions on developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community. She has an M.A. in religious studies from Stanford University and received her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the American University in Cairo. Maha has been recognized with numerous awards, including the “Civil Rights Leadership Award” from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations and “Citizen of the Year Award” from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Maha represents the Muslim religion.