Blog Articles

  • The Human Test of Violence – Between Honor and Cowardice

    We choose the articles for our issues months in advance. It is a sad twist of fate that our January issue features a review of a children's book, "The Grand Mosque of Paris" The book is about Muslims in Paris saving Jews from Nazis in the 1940s – and today history repeats itself as a Muslim employee saved Jewish shoppers from a monstrous killer.

    The world should not fall into this trap

    I felt exhausted trying to write yet another message of shame when the kidnapper in Sydney was reported to have asked for an ISIL flag. “How many more times am I supposed to discredit such violence?” my inner voice cried. I looked at that act of violence and thought, “this is not my Islam!” I was upset and tired – until I stumbled upon the news coming from Pakistan: 148 people, most of them students and teachers, violently killed. The attack was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, which, it is reported, is planning another hit. I felt that my soul had been gutted. The despair was so powerful, I couldn’t move my fingers on the keyboard. And now comes the violent attack in Paris, killing 12.

    ISIS Cruelty Deserves Our Strongest Condemnation

    Fethullah Gulen published an ad in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, condemning the ISIS violence in the Middle East. His ad reads as follows:

    The Approaching Dawn

    Once again, with a heart not yet healed, we remember and honor the victims of September 11th. Despite the new atrocities occurring all around us, we will not give up hope for a more peaceful world. Even as it grows darker, our hopes for an approaching dawn grow larger, and our resilience to work for peace and human dignity is stronger than ever.

    The positive impact of fasting on your health

    The blessed month of Ramadan is a time for worship, devotion and reflection on the deeper meaning of life. The spiritual exercises of fasting and prayer have a transforming influence not only on our hearts and minds but on the body, therefore:

    Tea in Turkish Culture

    Some sources mention that Turks traded and consumed tea as early as 400 BC, but tea only became commonplace in Turkey after 1900. Turkey is currently among the world's top five tea-growing countries, producing about 6 percent of the world's tea.

    Success that Fails, Failure that Succeeds

    Stories of success and failure are quite convoluted. Usually, success is associated with happiness and failure comes in the form of dejection. If so, then it is easy to understand success and failure as subjective states of mind.

    New Impressions at the Holy Land

    There rests the Holy Kabaah in the sacred mosque in all its glory, surrounded by a multitude of pilgrims either walking around, standing, bowing, prostrating, busy in total remembrance of Allah at all twenty-four hours. This monument, only a cube of black stone nine meters high and twenty-three meters in width, surpasses any other monument in the world in magnanimity and commands the attention and respect of more than a billion believers.

    The Fertile Intersection of Science and Faith

    The debate over science and religion - whether they're compatible or whether they're irrevocably at odds with one another - has been waged for quite some time now. Some of the loudest voices - most recently in a Slate article by Jerry A. Coyne titled "No Faith in Science" - have been dogmatic in their adherence to the belief that there is no room in science for faith.

    The Fountain Was a Finalist in The Eddie - Ozzie Awards 2013

    Last week, Katharine Branning's article from The Fountain, "Mixed Greens of Hope," was a finalist for one of Folio's prestigious Eddie awards. Described as the largest awards competition in magazine media publishing, the Eddies celebrate the best pieces of magazine journalism.

    News of the Death of Mr. Mandela

    I dance and I weep. Like many of my contemporaries, I first heard about Mr. Mandela and the struggle against apartheid on my own college campus in the mid-1960s. Flyers, posters, rallies and 'teach-ins' educated us about the struggle to resist racial oppression, to respond to world-wide events, to actually become agents of change for humanity. His example showed how we could all participate on behalf of humanity and how personal leadership can effectively respond with moral authority. Over the years, many of them darkened by persecution, torture and inhumanity, we learned that one person-joined with others-can truly matter on the face of the Earth.

    We Mourn for a Lost Hero

    The great Nelson Mandela passed yesterday, moving on to the next life. Mandela, of course, was not only the first President of post-apartheid South Africa, but also an exceptional human rights hero whose work for economic and social justice, in the name of love, won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Welcoming the Other through Conflict Prevention and Transformation

    At this 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace, we are here to address the human and spiritual imperative to welcome the other. Our arena is multi-religious cooperation through both words and deeds. At a time of rising hostility towards the other, we want to use the positive energy of face-to-face interfaith dialogue to achieve important goals, like protecting basic human dignity, and achieving equal citizenship and shared well-being for ALL people.

    Turkey, turkey, and turkeys: A Thanksgiving Letter from a Rabbi

    Rabbi Larry was blessed a few weeks ago with the opportunity to spend a week in Istanbul, Turkey. This came about through a special invitation from The Fountain, a journal centered on "Life, Knowledge, and Belief". It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from and talk with a variety of people from different religions, who are serious about their religion, and serious about improving the world.

    2013-11-29 - Rabbi Larry Seidman - Rabbi Linda Seidman
    Read More

    The New Cool? On the Pervasiveness of Obscene Language

    "My mother wouldn't let me watch Gone with the Wind even if my life depended on it," my neighbor reminisces. We are taking a walk around the lake in our neighborhood. I am pushing a stroller where my son is soundly asleep. She is walking her dog. Her lively gait conceals her sixty five years. I love listening to her talk about her life, past and present. She is my little window into the insides of America. I am the foreigner who has just landed and is trying to makes sense of too many things at the same time.

    Strength Through Diplomacy

    In the wake of the – very tentative – Syrian weapons deal between Russia and the United States, a rash of essays and editorials have run wondering what this means for US influence, both in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Some articles have claimed that this deal, which re-asserts Russia as an influence in the region, marks the end of American might.

    Violence Is Not Human

    Violence is not human. Yet, we are weak enough to resort to violence. Human being is to be loved. Yet, we are not strong enough to show our love to others. We at The Fountain are deeply hurt by the recent atrocities in Kenya, Pakistan, and other parts of the world. We condemn all sorts of violence, especially when perpetrators think they serve God and their religion in this way.

    What is Next for Smartphones?

    Although it has been two decades since the first introduction of smartphones, there are already 1.5 billion smartphone users in the world out of 5 billion mobile phone users. Smartphones are changing every year, and becoming smarter and better with new sensors, powerful chips, and new capabilities. Newspapers and websites often start discussing rumors about an upcoming smartphone several months before its launch.

    Outside the Classroom

    With school starting around much of the world, it’s an interesting time to examine education – what it is, how we educate, and how we really learn.

    9/11: Remember and Honor

    Today, we remember 9/11 once again, our hearts broken. The Fountain 83rd issue was published in September 2011 to commemorate the tragedy in its tenth anniversary.

    We Have a Dream…

    August 28 was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Attended by hundreds of thousands, it was a most memorable day not only in American history, but for all nations. Arguably, what was perhaps regrettable about that inspirational speech and the great gathering was that it overshadowed decades of dedicated struggle and suffering. Civil rights were not acquired by a speech nor by one march only.

    Is the Gulen Movement a Threat to the Turkish Government?

    The Turkish press has been dominantly occupied with the coup and violence in Egypt and Syria, and one more issue that has erupted, as if out of no where, is a so-called rift between the government and the Gulen Movement (GM), an influential faith-inspired educational movement. The story goes that some influential circles within the ruling party, or supporting it, believe the GM was behind the Gezi Park protests which caused serious problems for the government. The protests had started to stop a government project to erect a historical barracks with a shopping center on the site of a small but famous park in Istanbul.


    Welcome to the first ever blog written for The Fountain. In celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, we are launching this blog to enhance our interaction with our readers.