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Imam Abdullah Antepli Breaks Barriers in Fight Against Antisemitism   

Feb 08, 2024 By Queens University Communications

On Feb. 6, the Stan Greenspon Holocaust and Social Justice Education Center at Queens University of Charlotte presented the 2024 Stan Greenspon Upstander Award to Imam Abdullah Antepli. The award is bestowed upon an individual who has taken great risks and exhibits great courage in responding to hate.   

Antepli, vice president and provost of community engagement at Duke University, holds dual faculty appointments at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Divinity School as the associate professor of the practice of religion, politics, and interfaith relations.  

Sarah Fatherly, Ph.D., Queens University provost and vice president of academic affairs, provided opening remarks and welcomed nearly 100 attendees to the event. “Queens is committed to being a convener of thought leaders and practitioners on important issues that are facing our local and global communities,” said Fatherly. “In that spirit, we are proud to be the home of the Stan Greenspon Holocaust and Social Justice Education Center, a sign of the University’s commitment to our mission of empowering and equipping all learners to do meaningful work in their communities.”  

Rabbi Judy Schindler, director of the Greenspon Holocaust and Social Justice Education Center, presented the award to Imam Antepli. The award, an exquisite piece of handcrafted pottery, was emblazoned with a quote from Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer. It read, “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” 

“These are dark and painful times, and we need to be the light,” said Rabbi Schindler. “Imam Antepli has been that source of light who has been building interfaith bridges of understanding between Muslims and Jews for more than two decades while promoting peace and religious tolerance. For his sincerest drive toward peace, we thank him and honor him as our 2024 Greenspon Upstander Award recipient.” 

In his lecture entitled “To Heal Our Broken World: The Role of Interfaith Efforts in Uniting Us,” Imam Antepli highlighted the shared responsibility of all communities to nurture empathy and dialogue across faiths, while safeguarding the diverse traditions that enrich our world. 

“The ugliness and difficulties of our current time is making me even more committed to repairing and healing the wounded landscape of Jewish-Muslim relations and to defeat antisemitism and Islamophobia,” said Imam Antepli. “My friends, things are difficult but that is not an invitation to close the shop and go home. Let us do the hard work together in healing this broken world.” 

The event was part of Queens’ Presbyterian and Pluralist Week, a series of events that showcases diverse religious and spiritual voices while exploring the intersectional realities of religious and spiritual life at Queens and the wider community. Ultimately, it is a time in which students, faculty, and staff lean into the core values of the University while fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.   

“The Spiritual Life team at Queens works diligently to create brave spaces in which we can critically and openly engage with one another,” said Queens University Chaplain Adrian Bird. “Our students, faculty, and staff represent a vibrant and diverse range of religious, spiritual, and philosophical world views. Our pluralistic approach of building relationships across porous lines of difference lies at the heart at the transformative educational experience that Queens provides.” 

Visit the Queens University Calendar of Events for additional Presbyterian and Pluralist week events.