Bringing people together.
Creating friendship and mutual understanding.
Our response to the storming of the Capitol Building
There can be no question that we, as a nation, are racing toward the edges of a massive chasm. One, seemingly, being approached from either side by two very distinct groups, each believing astoundingly different versions of reality, and wholly convinced of the evil intent of the other side. Our races to the edges have accelerated in the last year with the onset of a global pandemic, the inflection point in white awareness of systemic racism that was the police murder of George Floyd, and the storming of the US Capitol building by a mob of white supremacists. All enhanced by the infinite quantity of information and misinformation flooding the Internet channels at light speed.
Historically, Salaam came into existence to address the fear of Muslims in the United States – a fear that welled up in many after 9/11. Even though the fear of Muslims is being displaced by a recognition of the threat of radicalized white supremacists, our mission is still very relevant. Because, it was America’s response to 9/11 that planted the seeds of the overflowing harvest of hatred we see in this moment.
This happened in two important increments: Read more…
Salaam promotes interfaith dialogue using our cutting-edge community building activities.
Salaam alaikum (peace be upon you), and welcome! Salaam is a peacemaking organization that promotes interfaith dialogue and facilitates community building activities between groups that might not naturally come together. Our initial work focused on activities with Muslims and people of other faiths – at the grassroots level. Hate crimes against Muslims skyrocketed after 9/11 and continue to spike cyclically with the election cycles.
After the murder of George Floyd and the extreme polarization around the 2020 general election, we realized the need for peacemaking across a spectrum of diverse and disparate groups, and expanded our mission. We apply our peacemaking strategies to break down the barriers that divide us, to find our common humanity, and work towards mutual understanding.
Our groundbreaking community building activities are making a difference. We have facilitated hundreds of interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims at the grassroots level. By bringing people together at the grassroots level, we are, one by one, adding to the team of anti-racist allies and equipping every day people to stand against hate crimes.
The work of community building has never been more important.
“I was so excited to hear for the first time a non-Muslim explain my religion correctly!!!”
Rasha T.Muslim woman
“Salaam is the bridge to mutual understanding and respect through education and interaction. Sometimes one does not know where to begin when seeking a broader kinship with those of different backgrounds, Salaam provides the unique experience to close the gap, to bring people together.”
Tama Becker-VaranoFounder and Director, Change Begins with ME
“Kudos to Steve for his dedication and commitment to bridging positive and meaningful relationships between Muslims and Non-Muslims! Salaam is a wonderful example of how to embrace our diversity and promote peace and justice in our world!”
Christy Bantugan-BohanFounder and Director, Pax Christi San Diego
“In a world full of division, ignorance, and hate, Salaam builds the bridge of peace with education and fellowship as we share our stories and work for the common good.”
Joseph DirbasRector, All Souls' Episcopal Church, San Diego