Thursday, April 23, 2015

News: Religion Communicators Council Visits American Center for Outreach

The Religion Communicators Council exists to spread the good news to the world. Its members come from all religious groups and work in various public relations arenas.

Throughout our history, America has been a land defined by religious faith and freedom. Religious freedom is our first and most fundamental, God-given right deemed so precious that our Founding Fathers enshrined it in the U.S. Constitution, according to the website Alliance Defending Freedom.

So what does a religious group do when its right to practice is threatened in the United States of America? Exercise its right to freedom of speech and organize a non-profit organization to address the situation. That is exactly what happened in 2011 when the American Center for Outreach was formed by Muslim leaders in Nashville, Tennessee.

This week, ACO Executive Director Paul Galloway was happy to host the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) for its April meeting. Galloway spoke about the mission, purpose and history of the center. RCC members were glad to hear from Galloway and plan ways to work together in the future.  

RCC hears regularly from a variety of organizations and groups which better the community, promote messages of faith or give tips on how to spread the good word.

The American Center for Outreach works to promote religious liberty and faith-based social justice through advocacy and issue-based coalitions. Its principles are religious freedom, mutual respect, and interfaith cooperation, among others.

Galloway has been called “the Yoda of interfaith affairs” while he was with Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, where his work was honored with a Jefferson Awards Certificate of Excellence for Public Service.

“This country was founded on principles of religious freedom and I appreciate anyone who makes that a priority,” says president of the Nashville RCC chapter and pastor of the Church of Scientology, Rev. Brian Fesler. RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more.  For more information about the RCC, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


For more information about the American Center for Outreach, visit acotn.org. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 2015: Paul Galloway, American Center for Outreach

In April, Nashville's RCC Chapter met at the American Center for Outreach Office to meet Paul Galloway and learn more about the center which was formed in 2011.
 
What does a religious community do when they are attacked on the political stage? The answer: form a non-profit to address this. That is exactly what happened in 2011 when the American Center for Outreach was formed by Muslim leaders in Nashville, Tennessee.

Paul told Nashville RCC members about how he was recruited from Houston, Texas to come to Nashville which was steeped in anti-Muslim legislation and how the American Center for Outreach was formed as a 501(c)4 to address this.

Tennessee already had AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council) which operates as a 501(c)3 to address issues with law enforcement, but the Muslim community didn't have a way to fight bigoted legislation at the capital. ACO (American Center for Outreach) was the answer to this need.

Current legislation that ACO is working to address includes Senate Bill 1040 / House Bill 1141 which deals with "no-go zones." It states that there are areas in Tennessee that are "controlled" by extremist gangs where average citizens aren't welcome. This is entirely untrue and perpetuates myths surrounding faith communities.

Paul has written for a blog titled "Muslim Matters." Some of his writing can be found here under the name Paul "Iesa" Galloway.

For more information on the American Center for Outreach or current campaigns, visit www.acotn.org.