Violence And Hate Must Be Met With Its Opposite
The show of unity among the millions of residents of diverse faiths and backgrounds who came together in Paris earlier this year for mutual support was a beautiful response. Violence and hate must be met with its opposite. The light will not be extinguished in Paris, nor in any among us.
We would like to share this message that arrived from Muslim neighbors who have worked closely with us to combat terror and unite people of all faiths for more peaceful tomorrows:
Islamic Center of Boston (ICB Wayland)
The members of the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland, join their fellow Americans and people of conscience everywhere in the world, in unequivocally condemning the senseless acts of violence that were committed in Paris, France, yesterday. It was a heinous and vile crime committed against innocent people. This barbaric act violates those very fundamental and basic values which have historically been shared by all decent people, of every creed and color, at all times and in every place on the surface of the earth.
No cause or excuse can be used to justify the taking of innocent lives and causing of wanton death, destruction and injury. The Holy Qur’an teaches us that the killing of one innocent human being is as if one has killed the whole of humanity. As followers of the Islamic faith, all of us repudiate this barbarism in the strongest possible terms, and ask that every thing possible be done to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
As members of the American Muslim community in the Greater Boston area, we offer our sincere condolences to those whose loved ones were killed or injured in this random act of terrorism in Paris. May Allah (swt), the same God as the God of Jesus, Moses and Abraham, grant them patience and courage to deal with this calamity.
In response to the rise in hate crimes, including recently deadly attacks against innocent Sikh men in the tri-state area, families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks have developed a new bus ad calling for unity and interfaith tolerance that will be posted on New York City public transit. Please join us by helping fundraise and contributing yourself to the campaign.
Everyone Please Share - Make Unity Go Viral!Click here to download "Islamophobia" PDF document.
Since 9/11 our families have despaired as hate crimes have been perpetrated against Muslims as well as Sikhs and others appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent. Intolerant advertisements on public transit have also emerged casting fear against all who practice the Islamic faith (1/5 of the world's population). We stand united to firmly assert that this must end. This outreach campaign honors those who lost their lives on 9/11 by helping prevent more innocent civilians of any faith or background from dying needlessly. Support of our 9/11 families is not to give way to fear, revenge, and hate, it lies in interfaith understanding, unity, and hope.
We hope that many will join us in helping raise money and otherwise support this effort.
Campaigns and Projects
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Rule of Law campaign mobilizes and amplifies the voices of 9/11 family members who support closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, restoring the rule of law, and ending indefinite detention and other violations of human rights that have become an enduring legacy of the U.S. “War on Terror.” Our goal for this initiative has been to strengthen the reasonable voices of 9/11 family members who support the rule of law in all aspects of dealing with the perpetrators and accused perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. This includes the decision to conduct federal versus military trials, to close Guantanamo, to end indefinite detention, to end the military commissions, and related issues.
When the U.S. Kills an American Citizen
(This letter was published in the New York Times)
To the Editor:
Re “A U.S. Citizen, in America’s Cross Hairs” (front page, March 10), about the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen:
I am a United States citizen; I was born here and have lived here all of my 81 years. If I were a threat to this country’s safety, I would expect to be caught and brought to justice.
The idea that any president can kill an American citizen without a trial is abhorrent and frankly scares me more than any act of any “terrorist.”
Senator Rand Paul’s politics are not mine by any stretch of the imagination, but I applaud him for trying to make the American public aware of what those we elected are doing.
It is a disgrace.
New York, March 10, 2013
The writer, whose brother died in the World Trade Center, is a co-founder of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Starting in 2002, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows helped lead opposition to the war in Iraq. After the U.S. invaded Iraq, we looked for ways to remain supportive of the Iraqi people. As part of our solidarity efforts, we have helped to publicize the campaigns of the Iraqi nonviolence network, La’Onf, to let people know that Iraqi citizens have a vision for their country that includes peaceful relations among different religious and ethnic groups, equal rights for women, and human rights and freedom for all. We are also a member of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, a collaboration between Iraqi and international NGOs to effect change that supports justice and democracy in Iraq.
In January 2002 four people who would soon become founding members of Peaceful Tomorrows traveled to Afghanistan to witness the consequences of U.S. military intervention, to express concern about the devastation of civilian casualties and to draw attention to the prospect that this war would increase terrorist recruitment. Peaceful Tomorrows members have continued to travel to Afghanistan, to speak out against war and violence in Afghanistan, and to build friendship and collaboration with civil society organizations in Afghanistan and elsewhere in support of peace for the women, men and children of Afghanistan. Peaceful Tomorrows works for an end to foreign military action and foreign military funding in Afghanistan, for a ceasefire and negotiated path forward, and for nonviolent and inclusive rebuilding and healing for Afghan society.
On Monday June 24, twenty-five members and religious leaders of the Metrowest interfaith community met with Wilnelia Rivera, the External Affairs Director for the Patrick administration to discuss the slight that the Islamic community felt from the governor’s office after the Boston Marathon Bombing. Other leaders present included Susan Thel of the Framingham Quakers, Michael Furstberg of the Workmen’s Circle, Dr. Asif Razvi of the ICB in Wayland, Mr. Anwar Kasmi, a board member of the I.S.B.C.C., and Shaheen Akhtar, leader of the Wayland interfaith book group. The issue was that the Muslim religious community felt slighted when a secular Muslim leader was selected to participate in the interfaith memorial service attended by President and Mrs. Obama, shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing. Their understanding was that an invitation had originally been extended to Imam Suhaib Webb, and was then rescinded the evening before. Read more
9/11 Stories: Our Voices, Our Choices