• Hillary and Flynt Leverett on Iran-U.S. Nuclear Negotiations

    Hillary and Flynt Leverett on Iran-U.S. Nuclear Negotiations

  • Community discussion in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings

    Community discussion in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings



Building resilient communities through dialogue, analysis, and outreach


BUILDING CONNECTIONS

BUILDING CONNECTIONS

Addressing divides within American-Muslim communities and society at large through public dialogues, panel discussions, and outreach.
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STRENGTHENING CONNECTIONS

STRENGTHENING CONNECTIONS

Strengthening Muslim communities in the U.S. and internationally by addressing critical gaps through lectures, workshops and intra-communal dialogues
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KIDS' CONNECTIONS

KIDS' CONNECTIONS

Bringing together elementary school-age children of all backgrounds to engage in joint community service projects
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Spotlight

Spotlight

A conversation on the doctrine of jihad with Dr. Sohail Hashmi, leading expert on Islamic political ethics at Mount Holyoke College. Please click the image above to access the interview produced by Ludlow Community Television.
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Jihad vs. Just War: Understanding Armed Struggle in Islam

Written by Mariam Awaisi  Pick up the latest New York Times, skim through the top entries on The Huffington Post, or tune into the latest headlines on CNN, and you can be sure to read or hear about how various Muslim groups are perpetrating violence in the name of Islam. And it so follows that for many of these groups – from ISIS to Boko Haram – jihad is the spiritual and ideological vehicle that legitimates these violent demonstrations. So what exactly does the oft-misunderstood jihad mean, and how does it relate to the Judeo-Christian concept of just war? These Read more…

Diversity is Divine Design

Written by Mariam Awaisi  Difference, plurality, and diversity of opinion were the central themes of the Critical Connections event “Dealing with Difference and Diversity: An Islamic Perspective.” Held at the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts (ISWM) in West Springfield, Massachusetts, the event brought together over forty local Muslims for a community dialogue to discuss intra- and inter-religious pluralism and strategies for effectively dealing with difference both inside and outside the mosque. First to speak was Dr. Ali Hazratji, a neurologist by training, former president of the ISWM for over fifteen years, and a regular speaker at various panels on Islam Read more…

Afghanistan at a Crossroads

Written by Bernie Pelletier As the crow flies, South Windsor, Connecticut is 6,622 miles from Afghanistan. But on May 29, a group of people in South Windsor had a window directly into this small and troubled nation. Three experts – each of whom had direct experience in Afghanistan – spoke to a group people drawn together by Critical Connections and the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. Mayor M. Saud Anwar of South Windsor proudly introduced the panel of speakers. First to speak was Matt Waldman, who has recently returned from Afghanistan, where he is conducting research on conflict resolution in Afghanistan. He describes Read more…

Green Shoots of Reconciliation

Written by Bernie Pelletier Just as Critical Connections is determined to resist misrepresentation, push back against intolerance, and defend against misunderstanding, we must seek, support, and welcome those who work from any side towards the goal of a resilient diverse world community. We have a prominent example of such outreach in Pope Francis, the new Catholic pope. There were early signs of his intent to reach across the divide starting with the name that he chose when he assumed the papacy. In recent centuries Catholic popes have chosen a name that signals their go forward agenda. Sometimes the name is in Read more…

Countering Militancy in Pakistan: A Talk By Dr. Haroon K. Ullah

On May 28, Critical Connections partnered with the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts to host Dr. Haroon K. Ullah, an international scholar, U.S. diplomat, and field researcher specializing in the Middle East and South Asia. He currently serves on Secretary Kerry’s Policy Planning Staff and is a Countering Violent Extremism specialist at the U.S. Department of State. To watch the event – which took place in Springfield, MA -click here.