The Common Good

Jim Wallis on the story behind Pastor Terry Jones's change of heart

Date: September 19, 2010

It is easy to believe that hostility toward Muslims is on the rise in America. Media coverage of the battle over the proposed Islamic community center in New York, together with the hateful rants of Florida pastor Terry Jones, who threatened to burn Korans on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, paints a picture of tension between faiths.

But this narrative of constant conflict doesn't tell the whole story. In my work with religious communities across the country, I have seen interfaith relationships strengthened in recent years, not in spite of 9/11 but because of it. And these connections helped avert a tragic conclusion to the Jones saga last weekend.