I’ve got a bit of a dilemma, and I’m wondering if you can help me out.
I’m a Buddhist representative on the interfaith body, Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations. APRO’s role is to foster interfaith relations, and in particular to show how religions in Australia work together for peace.
In line with this principle, members of APRO have suggested that we hold a commemoration for the victims of 9/11 on the upcoming 10th anniversery of the tragedy. The idea is that we hold a simple interfaith service, with perhaps a prayer or message for world peace, and invite some dignitaries. It will be a media event, with the rationale that, on that day, the media will be looking for stories and we can fill that space with a positive message. A working group has been appointed, and while it is not fully confirmed it seems likely it will happen.
Of course there is no question that the purpose is good and the message is essential. Yet I feel uneasy about using this event for this purpose.
I’d like to hear your opinions – what do you think? I won’t explain my doubts in any more detail yet, as I’d like to get your unfiltered responses. Also, I am not entirely clear for myself what is best to do. The other members of APRO seem to find the idea unproblematic, so I wonder if I’m just being weird.
Anyway, should we support the event? What message would a Buddhist presence (or absence) send? Is there a way it could be done that would work?