This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, our host, Rev. Welton Gaddy continues to wrestle with the responses to the tragic attack in Paris earlier this month. We’ll talk to religion scholar Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer who argues that these attacks were not about religion, and we’ll hear from our show’s producer, Ray Kirstein, who participated in a rally against Islamophobia in Germany last week. But before we go abroad, we have to check in on the state of our union as Americans continue to challenge racial inequality and injustice as we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Day.

Commemorating MLK Day After A Tough and Inspiring Year
As 2014 – the year that saw tragic deaths and demonstrations from Ferguson, to Staten Island, to Cleveland – came to a close, we knew that 2015’s commemoration of MLK Day would be particularly poignant. Listeners will remember Rev. Michael McBride of PICO National Network’s Live Free Campaign from the inspiring and unsettling stories he shared with us about his time in Ferguson earlier this year. This week he joins us to talk about how PICO is honoring MLK day and using Dr. King’s legacy to help drive today’s movement for justice in America.

The View from Leipzig
The tragic attack in Paris earlier this month reignited perennial debates – constantly bubbling below the surface – about immigration and Islam in Europe. The past weeks have seen massive protests against immigrants and the Muslim community, and even larger demonstrations of support for a community that is inclusive for all faiths and nationalities. Our show’s producer – Ray Kirstein – was in Leipzig, Germany last week and participated in the largest of these pro-immigration demonstrations. He’ll come on air this week and discuss with Welton what the view from Leipzig was this week, what was behind this demonstration, and where he thinks Europe is going from here.

“Religion Was Not The Reason For The Paris Attacks…”
As simple as they sound, these words have been incredibly controversial over the past weeks. So we welcome back Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, who wrote a recent article making that very argument in Religion Dispatches. Don’t miss his conversation with Welton this week about the role that religion did not play in the attacks at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office, and why understanding that is crucial for preventing future lone wolf terror attacks.

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