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Muslim activists raise over $70,000 to aid vandalized Jewish cemetery
By KARMA ALLEN
Feb 22, 2017, 11:23 AM ET
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
WATCHMore than 170 gravestones vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in
St. Louis.  As of early Wednesday morning, a crowdfunding campaign
started by Muslim activists had raised over $70,000 in an effort to help
repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri.

"Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community
to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth
Cemetery," read the crowdfunding campaign's website, which was
spearheaded by Muslim-American activists Linda Sarsour and
Tarek El-Messidi. "We also extend our deepest condolences to all those
who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large."

The effort comes after more than 170 headstones were damaged late
Sunday or early Monday at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, located in
the St. Louis suburb of University City, according to a report by the
Associated Press on Tuesday.

As of early Wednesday morning, the LaunchGood-hosted campaign
had raised more than $58,000, far surpassing the original $20,000
fundraising goal that the organizers said had been met in just three hours.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens called the cemetery vandalism a "senseless
act of desecration" in a tweet on Monday.
http://valleyadvocate.com/2017/01/30/muslim-life-in-the-valley/

Stories of Muslim Life in the Valley

Amherst resident Maha Awaisi, in her bedroom. Amanda Herman photo
Amherst resident Maha Awaisi, in her bedroom. Amanda Herman photo

Please please take a few moments to watch this genuine and powerful
video of people meeting people. Trump supporters meeting Muslims,
sharing a meal, going into a home, praying in their own ways.
I am filled with hope!

http://www.masjidma.com/2017/01/01/trump-supporters-spend-a-day-with
-a-muslim/





Hello again,
Please review these links:
The safety pins were an idea I found online which seems to be taking off to
 represent a stance against hatred towards all minority groups, especially
 those who have been most targeted by the presidential campaigning this
past election. Here is a link to an article that talks more about it. I have
seen a few people wearing them around town and it always makes me feel
 relieved knowing there is someone nearby who is a "safe" person. 
( a sister from ISWM)

 http://forward.com/opinion/355069/4-questions-to-ask-before-wearing-the-
safety-pin-from-a-jew-of-color/
https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/fashion/safety
-pin-ally-activism.amp.html
http://wgntv.com/2016/11/11/this-is-why-youre-seeing-people-wearing-safety
-pins/
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/fashion/safety-pin-ally-activism.html?
_r=0
 
As the country copes with the election results, this new alliance may be meaningful to ION members.

http://religionnews.com/2016/11/14/jewish-muslim-alliance-formed-against-anti-semitism-islamophobia/
**************************************************************************************


Naz shared this beautiful powerful video of many faiths, including Muslim leaders, coming together at Standing Rock protecting the water, in the sacred common ground of justice, uniting in prayer for justice, peacefully.
To watch the short video:
Building Bridges with Muslim Neighbors
Click the above link for a powerful article with photos from the United
Church of Christ e-news about standing with our spiritual cousins. Or
simply read the article below.
***********************************************************************************

UCC invites churches to lead by "Building Bridges" with Muslim neighbors
in communities across America.

 
July 25, 2016
Written by Connie Larkman-veradalePNC.jpg
The Pacific Northwest Conference (PNC) United Church of Christ is joining
UCC national leadership in reaching out to the thousands of churches
across the denomination with an invitation to join a public campaign of love
and acceptance of Muslim Americans.

The 'Building Bridges' initiative is building on a PNC campaign, 'Honoring
Sacred Time', a visible witness of welcome throughout the holy month of
Ramadan, where more than 20 UCC churches expressed solidarity with
their Muslim neighbors by displaying signs and messages of welcome and
love and attending Islamic celebrations.

"This is very much in line with the spirit of love and compassion that the
gospel invites us to bear witness to," said the Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC
general minister and president. "While we celebrate this bold, public
witness— we also realize that Muslims in America live in fear all the time.
It is going to take a concerted, collaborative effort on our part to shift the
dialogue and engender feelings of trust, of love, and of mutual support
across interfaith lines."

That's why the denomination is expanding the campaign across the wider
church, suggesting four simple but effective actions every person in the
UCC can pledge to do.

"I invite all settings of the United Church of Christ to study more about Islam
, to visit a mosque in their area, to reach out to a family friend or colleague
who is Muslim and engage them in conversation, to show visible signs of
support for our Muslims neighbors, and to advocate for a change in how
Christians speak about and relate to the Islamic faith," said Dorhauer. "With
the world becoming more and more divided — and with those divisions
creating a more frightful and fearful place to live in — these simple acts of
love will go a long way to change the narrative about how we relate to each
other across interfaith lines. These acts of compassion will help reduce the
threat of ongoing violence and help build homes, communities, and nations
 of peace."

"The United Church of Christ is setting an important example of serving God
 by serving humanity," said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director, Council for
American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington. "The responses from
UCC churches across our state and beyond really speak to the values and
the character of UCC leaders. They really are showing the country what it
means to 'do to others what you would have them do to you.'"

The UCC partnership with CAIR in the state of Washington went a long way
 to build trust and relationships in the interfaith community.

A_Blessed_Ramadan.jpg"When the Pacific Northwest UCC congregations
created a banner campaign to honor our Muslim neighbors to remind all in
our community of our shared humanity, the response was very positive,"
said the Rev. Stephen Haddan, pastor of Tolt Congregational United Church
 of Christ, Carnation, Wash., northeast of Seattle. "A couple weeks into
Ramadan, a Muslim family, dad and two sons, came by to personally thank
us for our hospitality and welcome.  It was a very emotional moment. His
young sons were actually fearful of entering this 'Christian space' and the
father really had to press on them the fact that this was actually a safe
place.  This was an eye-opener for me as the father literally broke down
and cried on my shoulders."

"Since then we were invited to break fast with them one evening," Haddan
continued. "About 10 from the congregation went and were showered with
gifts. Then after the Orlando shooting, we literally received phone call after
phone call from people I do not know thanking us for our inclusion of all
faiths and our open and affirming position."

"We are now working to make this a conversation by having mosques also
post banners that affirm basic Islamic teachings about Christians, Jews and
 others who are 'People of the book,' and other messages that remind
people of all faiths that American Muslims believe in the right and freedom
of all Americans to live and worship in their own way," said Bukari. "We
hope that this public and vocal affirmation in response to another public
campaign by UCC churches will remind fellow Americans that while some
may try to divide us, we are and always will be one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"I simply did not expect this project to have the kind of impact it did but, as
 I've listened, I've begun to understand why," said the Rev. Mike Denton,
conference minister, Pacific Northwest Conference UCC. "For one, having
these simple banners up is a public repudiation of the dominant narrative
being shared about our interreligious relationship. We are told by our
extremists that we are in an existential conflict in which only one 'side' can
win. This campaign speaks to the possibility of peaceful, loving coexistence."

Denton and Bukhari said it also sends a very powerful message that is
sorely needed.

"All I can think of are the thousands of American Muslim children growing
up across our state, and millions across our nation," said Bukhari. "When
they pass by a UCC church on the way to school or to soccer practice and
see a sign publicly and vocally telling the public that American Muslims are
our neighbors, it tells them that American Muslim children have the right to
the same aspirations, hopes and dreams as every other young American."

"I didn't really understand the oppressive power of forced isolation," said
Denton. "We might obviously be concerned about the threat of building
physical walls but social walls can be as damaging. This simple campaign
began to poke some holes in those walls."


This article below was sent and endorsed by the Imam at ISWM (Islam Society of Western Massachusetts).
Also, the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, are one with you, and support the plea of
President Obama to reject hate and embrace our quest for non-violence with love
which alone bears the fruit of authentic peace.  Let us stubbornly adhere to the
power of prayer with faith, hope and trust. 

 
                                                
http://blog.change.org/post/we-stand-in-solidarity-against-violence
A JOINT MUSLIM STATEMENT

ON THE CARNAGE IN ORLANDO

June 13, 2016

On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled violence has no place in any faith, including Islam. As people of faith, we believe that all human beings have the right to safety and security and that each and every human life is inviolable.

We know that, given the tenor of the times, some will associate this tragedy with the religion of the perpetrator. While we may never learn conclusively what motivated this misguided individual, many news sources claim that he was motivated by his faith, which would be a reprehensible distortion of Islam adding the religion to the long list of innocent victims in this callous crime. Any such acts of violence violate every one of our Prophet’s teachings. For Muslims, that this carnage occurred in the blessed month of Ramadan—a month of charity, introspection, and self-purification—only adds to the foulness of this enormity.

Since September 11, 2001, many Muslims have been victims of collective guilt; yet, numerous Americans of good conscience have stood by their fellow citizens, despite differences in faith or lifestyle, including many members of the targeted community. Difference is no justification for violence. While most American Muslims adhere to a strict Abrahamic morality, the Quran is clear that its injunctions apply only to Muslims who choose to follow them: “There is absolutely no compulsion in religion.” In America, individuals are at liberty to pursue happiness as each sees fit; it is our cherished political right. Those of us who live in this country, irrespective of our beliefs, must respect the equality of all Americans under the laws of the land.

We feel compelled to state that it is an egregious offense against the culture and laws of America—as well as Islam’s—to place collective guilt on an entire community for the sins of individuals. “No soul bears the sins of another,” says the Quran.

Three days ago, Americans honored the memory of one of the greatest and most beloved men in American history: Muhammad Ali, who was a devout Muslim. The Islam Muhammad Ali followed is one of love, tolerance, and respect for all. American Muslims everywhere felt that he ended, once and for all, the vacuous claim that one cannot be both Muslim and American.

We, as American Muslims, follow the openhearted and inclusive Islam of Muhammad Ali and completely reject the hatred, provincialism, and intolerance of those who trample upon the rights of others, besmirching and defiling the name of Islam. The criminal who took the lives of dozens of patrons of the Orlando nightclub and injured many others was an aggressor, plain and simple. The Quran says, “Do not be brutal or commit aggression, for surely God does not love brutal aggressors.”

There are extremists in America and abroad who view the world through a Manichean lens: American Manicheans want Americans to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Muslims as entirely “evil.” Muslim Manicheans want Muslims to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Americans as entirely “evil.” This is a catastrophic recipe for unrelenting violence, and it must be rejected: We will not allow the extremists to define us, mold us in their benighted image, or sow the seeds of discord among us. We are one people, so let us all in good conscience and human solidarity reject this extremist narrative and assert our shared humanity and mutual respect for the sanctity of all human life.

Signed,

SHAYKH ABDALLAH BIN BAYYAH - President, Forum for Promoting Peace
HAMZA YUSUF - President, Zaytuna College
SHERMAN A. JACKSON - King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, USC
SIRAJ WAHHAJ - President, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
UMAR F. ABD-ALLAH - Resident Scholar, Chicago, IL
MUSTAFA CERIC - Grand Mufti Emeritus
ZAID SHAKIR - Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
YASIR QADHI - Dean, AlMaghrib Institute | Assistant Professor, Rhodes College
YUSUF ISLAM - Philanthropist / Singer & Composer
MOHAMED MAGID - Executive Religious Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society(ADAMS)
ABDULLAH BIN HAMID ALI - Senior Faculty , Zaytuna College
ABDULLAH HAKIM QUICK - Resident Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto
AISHA AL-ADAWIYA - Founder, Women in Islam Inc.
MUHAMMAD AL-NINOWY - Founder & President, Al Madinah Institute
TAMARA GRAY - Founder, Rabata Inc.
MOHAMED ELSANOUSI - Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
NAEEM BAIG - President, ICNA
WALEED BASYOUNI - VP, AlMaghrib Institute
YASER BIRJAS - Imam, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
OMAR SULEIMAN - Resident Scholar, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
OUSSAMA JAMAL - Secretary General, US Council of Muslim Organizations
DALIA MOGAHED - Co-Author, "Who Speaks for Islam? what a Billion Muslims really think"
AZHAR AZEEZ - President, ISNA
AFIFI AL-AKITI - KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies, Oxford University
ALTAF HUSSAIN - Vice President (US), ISNA / Associate Professor, Howard University
MAZEN MOKHTAR - Executive Director, The Muslim American Society (MAS)
MAHA ELGENAIDI - Executive Director, ING
KHALID LATIF - Executive Director, The Islamic Center at New York University
YASIR FAHMY - Senior Imam, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
IMAM ZIA - Executive Director, MakeSpace
NIHAD AWAD - National Executive Director , The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
NOMAN HUSSAIN - Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
AFROZ ALI - Founder & Director, Al-Ghazali Centre, Australia
ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA (ISNA)
EMERGE USA
ABDUL NASIR JANGDA - President, Qalam Institute
LINDA SARSOUR - Co-founder/Director , MPower Change
YASSIR FAZAGA - Religious Director, Orange County Islamic Foundation
FAISAL HAMID ABDUR-RAZAK - President, Islamic Forum of Canada
TAHIR ANWAR - Faculty, Zaytuna College
AISHA SUBHANI - Board Member, Zaytuna College
FOUZAN KHAN - Director, Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS)
MUNIR EL KASSEM - President & Founder, Islamic Institute for Interfaith Dialogue
HAMID SLIMI - Chairman & Imam, Canadian Centre For Deen Studies / Sayeda Khadija Centre
SHAHED AMANULLAH - Co-Founder, Affinis Lab
MUSLEMA PURMUL - Chaplain, Institute of Knowledge (IOK), California
HAZEM BATA - Secretary General, ISNA
DILSHAD D. ALI - Chair, Board of Directors, Enabled Muslims
ABDUL MALIK MUJAHID - President, Sound Vision
ALBERT PRESS JR. - President, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)
YAHYA RHODUS - Founding Director, Al-Maqasid
AFGHAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
ZESHAN ZAFAR - Executive Director, Forum for Promoting Peace | UAE
AFTAB MALIK - Senior Advisor, Forum for Promoting Peace | UK
MIKAEEL AHMED SMITH - Islamic Soicety of Baltimore
ABDUR RAHMAN BASHIR - Imam, Jefferson Muslim Association, Louisiana
QASIM KHAN - Imam, Masjid At-Tawhid
SYEDUR RAHMAN CHOWDHURY - National President , MUNA
KENAN BASHA - Board Chair, MSA National
FATIMA SALMAN - Central Zone Representative, ISNA
ABDELMAJID JONDY - President, Flint Islamic Center
PAUL GALLOWAY - Executive Director , The American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC)
SARAH COCHRAN - President & Co-Founder, Oneblue.org
ASHFAQ TAUFIQUE - President , Birmingham (AL) Islamic Society
KHAULA HADEED - Executive Director, CAIR AL
LATEEF UR RAHMAN - Imam , Islamic Society Of Tracy
ILYAS ANWAR - Imam , South Valley Islamic Community
KHAULA HADEED - Executive Director, CAIR AL
SYED MOKTADIR - President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center)
HUSSAIN KAMANI - Mufti, Instructor, Qalam Institute | Resident Scholar, Islamic Association of Carrollton
EDWARD AHMED MITCHELL - Attorney & Executive Director, CAIR-Georgia
AAMIR NAZIR - Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom (CA)
HAMZAH WALD MAQBŪL - Instructor, Rayyān Institute
MUZAMMIL AHMED - Chairperson, Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
TAREK EL-MESSIDI - Founding Director, CelebrateMercy
MOHAMED ALMASMARI - Executive Director - Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
HATEM BAZIAN - Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
FERAIDOON MOJADEDI - Director, Sacred Caravan
ASAD TARSIN - Board Member, Deen Intensive Foundation
RAMI NASHASHIBI - Executive Director, IMAN | Visiting Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS)
COALITION OF SOUTH FLORIDA MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS (COSMOS)
AMJAD QUADRI - Education, Muslim Community Center Chicago, IL
ABDULLAH T. ANTEPLI - Imam, Duke University
KHALIL ABDUR-RASHID - President and Founder of Yaqeen Seminary for Advanced Studies of Islam in America
MUHAMMED AL AHARI - Editor in Chief, Magribine Press
NIAZ HANNAN - Religious Director, Islamic Center of South Jersey, Muslim Chaplain, Drexel University
IRFAN SHUTTARI - Board Member, Michigan Muslim Community Council
YAMA ZACHARIAH AZAR - Representative, Southern California Afghan Community
CHRIS BLAUVELT - Founder & CEO, Launchgood.com
AAMIR NAZIR - Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom, CA
LATEEF UR RAHMAN - Imam, Islamic Society of Tracy, CA
VASEEM FARIA ANSARI - Director, Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
KARIM KHAYATI - Co-Founder , American Muslim Institute
AZRA HUSSAIN - President, Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona
ZEHRA WAMIQ - Founder/Director, Delaware Valley Speakers Bureau
NUHA ALFAHHAM - Co-director , ILEARN, ING affiliate
KHALIL MEEK - National Executive Director , Muslim Legal Fund of America
SHABANA SHAKIR AHMED - Tours & Talks Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
AIDA MANSOOR - President, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
REZA MANSOOR - President, Islamic Association of Greater Hartford
M. RAJAULLAH QURAISHI - Past President, MCC Chicago
SHAKILA T AHMAD - Board President, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
ISMAEEL CHARTIER - Imam, Islamic Association of Cincinnati
TEHSEEN LAZZOUNI - Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau of San Diego
ADNAAN A WASEEM - Teacher, Muslim Society Institution
AHSEN WASEEM - Imam/instructor , Furqaan Foundation/Academy
MINHAJUDDIN AHMED - Imam and Resident Scholar, DarusSalam Foundation
AZFAR UDDIN - Imam, Islamic Foundation North
YASIR NADEEM - Director , Darul Uloom Online
SAAD H. BAIG - Imam , Islamic Center of Quad Cities
BILAL ALI ANSARI - Lecturer, Darul Qasim
AFZAL SHEIKH - Khateeb, The Islamic center Of deer park ny
ABDUSSAMAD AWAL - Mufti, Darul Quran Wassunah
YASIR KHAN - President , Al-Misbaah
AHMAD JAFAR - Mufti, Darul Arqum Institute
ABDURRAHMAN AHMAD - Imam, ICNE
OSSAMA BAHLOUL - Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville
RASHAD SHARIF - Imam, President, Masjid Al-Mu'minun, Memphis
MOHAMMED ABDULLAH AL MAMUN - Baitul Mukarram Center, Danbury Connecticut
IBRAHIM H AHMAD - Imam, Masjid Noor Inc
YASSER ARAFAT - President/CEO, Peace Ambassadors USA
ABDUL-LATIF SACKOR - Imam/President , Islamic Center of Rhode Island
SALEH M. SBENATY - Chair, Outreach Committee, Islamic Center of Murfreesboro
USMAN AKHTAR - Imam, Islamic Society of Western Connecticut | Danbury Masjid
ABDUL AZIZ BHUIYAN - Chairman , Hillside Islamic Center
MOHAMMED WASIM KHAN - Mufti, Madrasah Islamiah/ ISRA Foundation
ZAID KHAN - Instructor , DUA Institute
ASIF UDDIN - Instructor, Darul Qasim
ABDUL HAKIM HAMID - Imam , Muslim Community of Florida
MOHIBULLAH N. DURRANI - Professor, Muslim Astronomers
KHALID YOUSUF - MD, Orthopedic surgeon
HASANUDDIN KHAJA - Ex- executive member , Islamic center of Harrison
ZYSHAN YASEEN PALWALA - Instructor/Imam, Masjid Uthman
MUSLIHUDDIN KAWTHAR - President, Rihlatul ILM Foundation
ASIM GAFFAR - Teacher, College Preparatory School of America
AYMAN SADER - Member of Board of Trustee , Islamic Center of Nashville
ABDELRHMAN HUSSEIN - Assistant, Peace Ambassadors USA
KIFAH MUSTAPHA - Imam, The Prayer Center of Orland Park
IKHLAS ANSARI - Hafiz, MCC Chicago
AZEEMUDDIN JAWAD MOHAMMED - Lead Qur'an Instructor, MAS- MAS Qur'an Institute -(MQI)
ABDELHAFID DJEMIL - President, Majlis Ashura (Islamic Leadership Council) of New York
MUHAMMAD A HUSSAIN - President, Long Island Muslim Society
SAIFUL NABI - Imam, Muslim Federation of J.C.N.J
HASIB NOOR - Founder, The Legacy Foundation
MUBEEN KAMANI - Sheikh, MCC Academy
MOHAMMED AMJED ALI - Imam, Rahmat e Alam Foundation
NUMAAN NASIR CHEEMA - Imam/Molana, 4EveryMuslim.com
MOHAMMED SAMIR WAHID - Mufti/founder, Islamic institute of Atlanta
EHZAZ AJMERI - Scholar & Instructor , DarusSalam Foundation
RAHAT HUSAIN - Director, Universal Muslim Association of America
VASEEM ANSARI - Director, ING Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
KHALID MIRZA - Co-Founder , The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)
MUHAMMAD CHOWDHURY - Instructor , Darul Hidayah
EMAN HASSABALLA ALY - Co-Founder, Collaboryst & RRT
KHAMIS ABU-HASABALLAH - President, Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
SAJID ALI - Imam, Islamic Association of Forth Worth
NAYEF ABBAS - Imam/Juris Consult, Islamic Association of Michigan
MOHAMMED A HAQUE - Ex President, Islamic society of Nortgwest suburbs of Chicago
TALIB SHAREEF - President , The Nation's Mosque Masjid Muhammad
IKRAM UL HAQ - Imam, Fatwa Center of America
NAEEM KHALID - President , Islamic Center of Connecticut, Inc (Madina Masjid)
AYESHA KHAN - ICNF
MOHAMMED KAISERUDDIN - Chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
A RAHMAN - Board member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
NAAZISH YARKHAN - Founder, Writers Studio
KAREN DANIELSON - Outreach Director, MAS Chicago
JAWAD KHAN - President, Chicago Chapter, Indian American Muslim Council
TALAT M. OTHMAN - Co- Founder, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
MAJEED SHARIF - President, United Muslim mosque
MAJEED SHARIF - President, United Muslim mosque
ZAHER SAHLOUL - Senior Advisor and past president , Syrian American Medical Society
KARIM MOZAWALLA - Vice President/Trustee, Muslim Community of Nassau County/Masjid Hamza
BAHER S FOAD - Board member, Islamic center of greater Cincinnati
MOHAMMED MISBAHUDDIN - Ex President , Muslim Society
GULAME ASIF - Board Member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
KAMEELAH RASHAD - Founder & President, Muslim Wellness Foundation
ILTEFAT HAMZAVI - Board member , Michigan Muslim Community Council
OMER BAJWA - Muslim Chaplain, Yale University
SAMEER AFSAR - Secretary, Downtown Islamic Center Chicago
SEHAM ABDALA - Director, NJ Islamic Networks Group
ASHRAF TRABOULSI - Board Vice Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
INAYAT MALIK - Past President and Board Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
HEBA MACKSOUD - Board of Trustees Member, Islamic Society of Central Jersey
USAMA CANON - Founding Director, Ta'leef Collective
SAMIA HUSSEIN - Vice President/President-Elect, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
MAZEN ASBAHI - Partner, Law Firm of Roetzel & Andress, LPA
BASSAM ISSA - President, Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga
LENA F. MASRI ESQ. - Legal Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan
FERYAL SALEM - Professor , Hartford Seminary
MOHAMMAD FAZILI - Predident, Islamic Center of Williamson County
ZAYNAB SALMAN - Board Member, Deen Intensive Foundation
MOHAMMAD MOTIUR RAHMAN - Ustaaz, Baitul Hamd (Ideal Mother Organization)
IRFAN AHMAD KHAN - Director, Association for Qur'anic Understanding
NEMAT MOUSSAVIAN - Board member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
AYESHA SULTANA ALI - Member Board of Directirs, Muslim Community Center
MUHAMMAD ILYAS - Sh, Darul Quran was Sunnah
WALEAD MOSAAD - Resident Scholar, Sakina Collective
DAWUD WALID - Executive Director , CAIR-MI
NAWZAD HAWRAMI - Secretary, Board of Trustees, Salahadeen Center of Nashville
OSAMA ABUIRSHAID - National Policy Director , American Muslims for Palestine
NEMAT MOUSSAVIAN - Board member , Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
SAAD KHAN - Instructor, Darus Suffah
KHALID NASR - Imam, Islamic center of new England, Quincy
SYED ALI - Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau-Dallas/Fort Worth
EID FARHA - President, Islamic Center of Ann Arbor
RIZWAN ALI - Shaykh, Islamic Center of Naperville
FAHD SYED - Administrative, United Muslim Masjid
EAMAAN RABBAT - Board member and Director of Ribaat Academic Institute, Rabata
ISMAIL ELSHIKH - Imam, Muslim association of Hawaii
IBRAHIM SULTAN-ALI - President, Board of governors of Pleasant View School
IBAD WALI - Instructor, Darul Uloom New York
MOHAMED SALEM - Muslim US citizen, Muslim
SAADIA MIAN - Board Member , Rabata
NOOR RAHEEMULLAH HASAN - Executive Director , Muslim Women's Alliance
NADIAH MOHAJIR - Co-Founder & Executive Director, HEART Women & Girls
AZRA BAIG - Vice President, American Muslim Council PAC
ALICIA STRONG - President , Wesleyan Muslim Student Association
AKBER KHAN - Quran Instructor, Cordoba House
MAJED SABKE - Imam, MIA
NAJAH BAZZY - CEO, Diversity Specialists
NADEEM SIDDIQI - Chairman, Muslim American Society
HUMAIRA SALEHI - Mr., Farmington valley American Muslim Center
MOHAMMAD ALI CHAUDRY, PH.D.- President, Islamic Soc of Basking Ridge
FATINA ABDRABBOH, ESQ - Executive Director , Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee
HAFIZ MUHAMMAD MUSTAFA - Imam, Jamia Masjid Boonton
RIZWAN JAKA - Chair, Board, All Dulles Area Muslim Society(ADAMS) & Board Member, ISNA
JAVED ALI - Founder ILLUME / Urban Halal
ISLAMIC INSTITUTE OF ORANGE COUNTY
CALIFORNIA ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY
MARGARI HILL - Programming Director Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
JOHARI ABDUL-MALIK - Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Falls Church, Virginia
TANEEM AZIZ - President, Muslim Community of Northeast Tennessee
ASIF UMAR - Imam/Director of Religious Affairs, Islamic Foundation of
GREATER ST. LOUIS
YAMA NIAZI - Imam, Islamic Society of Santa Barbara
ISLAMIC CENTER OF BOISE
ADNAN DURRANI - CEO American Halal Co, Inc
ERAM UDDIN - Board Member, Beacon Foundation
HAMDULLAH SAYEDI - Imam, Sacramento Afghan Community and Religious Center
DEBBIE ALMONTASER - Board President, Muslim Community Network NY
FARAZ RABBANI - Executive Director, SeekersHub Global
OMAR MOHAMMEDI - Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School
MEHNAZ M. AFRIDI - Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
FASAHAT HAMZAVI- President, Islamic Association of Greater Detroit
OMER RANGOONWALA - Director, Islamic Education Center (IEC)
FAHAD TASLEEM - Director, Islamic Education & Research Academy US (iERA US)
ASHRAF LATIF, R.PH - Amir / Predident, NIA Masjid & Community Center
SANYA BARI - Professional Counselor , Mental Health Counselor to Muslims
JAMAAL DIWAN - Chaplain serving UCLA, USC, and UCI , Institute of Knowledge
SAYED ABOUABDALLA - Imam, AIC
KAISER ASLAM - Muslim Chaplain , Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University
HAKIM OUANSAFI - Chairman of the Board, Muslim Association of Hawaii
MAJEED SHARIF - President, United Muslim Mosque
IRHABI MOHAMAD - Director, Senior Consultant Religious Department , IANT Quranic Academy
MAHER YAHYA - Secretary, Salahadeen Center
IHSAN ABDUS-SHAHID - Treasurer, Al-Minhal Academy
SAMAR MALIK - Donor Relations- CelebrateMercy
BARRY DANIELIAN - Servant of God, Human Being
SUHAIL MULLA - Director of Mental Health, Access California Services
NOORGUL DADA - Chairman, Noor Islamic Cultural Center (NICC)
NOOR AHMED MD - Member of Majls, Islamic Foundation of Greater St Louis
AHMED A. QADEER - Co- Founder, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
KASHIF AHMED - Religious and Social Director, SALAM Islamic Center
ZIAUN FAJHRUDDIN - Member, ICN, Islamic Center of Nashville
SIRAJ AHMED DESAI - Imam Religious Director, Islamic Society of East Bay
ASAD BA-YUNUS - Board Member, National Assoc. of Muslim Lawyers
FURHAN ZUBAIRI - Dean of Seminary/Extension, Institute of Knowledge (IOK)
FARYAL M KHATRI - Board Member, Muslim Alliance of Indiana
MONA KAFEEL - COO, Texas Muslim Women's Foundation
MOWLID ALI - Imam , JIAR
MUZZAMMIL ZAKIR - Imam, North Penn Mosque
NOMAAN BAIG - Founding Director, Institute of Knowledge (IOK)
TALAL ALSHAMI - Member , ISCJ
SALEH M ALDABASHI - President, Muslim Society Memphis
RUSHA LATIF - Founder, Rock the Muslim Vote
ZAHID BUKHARI - Executive Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice
AMMAR AMRO - Board Member, Al Minhal Academy of Turnersville
ALTAF S KAPADIA - Imam/ Islamic teacher, Darul Arqam Of Michigan
IFTEKHAR HUSSAIN - Chairman, Board of Directors, CAIR-PA
NADIA AFZAL - Board Member, Sakina Collective
MUNIR GANDEVIA - Founder and President, Islamic Center of Burlington, MA
MUHAMMAD AUZAIR KHAN - Teacher of Islamic Studies, Madrasah Noorul Islam UK
SHOAIB KHADRI - President, Islamic Center of Naperville
IBRAHIM HANNOUN - Board of Trustees- Ex-officio , Islamic Center of Wheaton (ICW)
IMAM KAMIL MUFTI - Resident Scholar, Islamic Foundation of Peoria
MOHAMMED H ABDULLAH - Imam , Masjid Noor Huntington Long Island New York
MUHAMMAD ABDUL JABBAR - Imam , Masjid Darul Quran, Bayshore, NY
RAED ABUSUWWA - President , Muslim American Society-Chicago Chapter
HISHAM MAHMOUD - Professor , Harvard University
SHAHNAZ NAEEM - Muslima , American Muslim
SHAHZAD SADOZAI - Director of Development , Boston Islamic Seminary
SALAM AL-MARAYATI - President, MPAC
RAAFI T. ISLAM - Ustadh, Darul Uloom Detroit/Instructor
AASIM RASHID - Founder, Principal, Al-Ihsan Educational Foundation
SHAIKH SIDDIQ - Shaikh, Houston Muslim Group
IDRIS ABDUS SALAM - Resident Scholar, Darul Islah
ASRA ALI - Board member, Mecca Center
ASIF UMAR - Mufti/Imam, Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis
MUHAMMAD QUADIR - CEO, Discover Islam
HUSSEIN ATA - MAS-ICNA Convention Chair, Board Member MAS
AISHA YAQOOB - Executive Director, Georgia Muslim Voter Project
NAJIYAH MAXFIELD - Board Member, Rabata
ALAM CHOWDHURY - President, Trustees, Darus Salam Masjid
YUSUFI VALI - Executive Director, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
ARMAN CHOWDHURY - Assistant Executive Director, MUNA
ADIL - BROTHER, ICNVA
NUREN HAIDER, ESQ. - Candidate, Candidate for Orange County Commission District 1
ASRA HAMZAVI - Psychiatrist , Hamzavi Psychiatry & Wellness Center
MOHAMMAD FARHAN - Mufti, Co-founder/Director, Children of Adam Inc. | Director, Muslims on Long Island Inc.
IMRAAN SIDDIQI - Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations - Arizona
MOHAMMED MOHIUDDIN - Administrator , Baytul-Iman Academy
MOHAMMAD ISLAM - Imam/President , Masjid Attaqwa
ABDULLAH FAARUUQ - Imam, Mosque for Praising of Allah
OMER RANGOONWALA, ESQ. - Director, Islamic Education Center (IEC)
SAYEED SIDDIQUI - President, Muslim Youth of North America
FAISAL MOHAMED SIDDIQI - Member, Masjid Mustafa
SULAIMAN SALEEM - Resident scholar , Institute of Islamic Education
SABA MAROOF - Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist , Institute of Muslim Mental Health
FASAHAT HAMZAVI - President, Board of Directors , Islamic Association of Greater Detroit
MAHEEN KHAN - Member, ICNE Sharon
KRISTIN SZREMSKI - Director of media and communications, American Muslims for Palestine
ABDULLAH JABER - Imam, Masjid Al Farooq & Masjid Omar
ABDELGHADER OULD SIYAM - Imam, Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio
AFAF TURJOMAN - Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau, Santa Barbara
ATIF FAREED - Chairman , American Muslim Community Centers
ARWA DIAB - Physician, AUC
MUHAMMAD HAMADEH - President, The Mecca Center
MOHAMMED AWAD - Orthopedic Surgeon, OSF
SIRAJ MOWJOOD - Board Member, Impact So Cal
QUTAIBAH J. ABBASI - Imam, Duncanville Islamic Center
MUAAZ HASSAN - Research & Special Projects , CAIR Florida
AZHAR SUBEDAR - Spiritual Director , Purposefullife.us
GLORY ALI - Quran Teacher, weekend school, Islamic Society of Central Jersey
SHAIKH SHAFAYAT - Ameer and Principal, Darul Uloom Institute / Florida USA
SHAKEEL MEHDI - Board Member (Director of Outreach, Civic Engagement) , Board Member, Islamic Association of Carrollton, Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
HAFSA KHAN - Principal, Islamic School of Trenton
OMAR PATEL - Community Leader / Activist, Al-Bir Mosque - Central Florida
JOHARI ABDUL-MALIK - Imam, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center
QUTAIBA ALBLUWI - Imam of Muslim Community Center of Kingston
FARHAN SYED - Member, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NIGERIAN MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS, USA
QAZI - Principal , Nawal Academy
CATHY MORROW - Revert Muslim , Al-Bir Mosque - Central Florida
JOOHI TAHIR - Executive Director, MUHSEN
FATIMA SADAF SAIED - President, Muslim Women's Organization
FAHAD MIRZA - TV Program Director, AL-Hikmat TV
EMAN RASHID - Education Admin., MRI Institute
SHEIKH AZHAR NASSER - Imam , Islamic Education Center
INAYAT WALLI - President, Husseini Islamic Center of Florida
BASSEM CHAABAN - Executive Director, American Islam
TIMOTHY J GIANOTTI - Associate Professor, Renison University College, University of Waterloo, and the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation, Toronto
ANAS SHAIKH - Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier
HASSAN SHIBLY - Chief Executive Director, CAIR Florida
ALAA YOUSSEF - President, Upper Westchester Muslim Society
MUSLIM CENTER OF SOMERSET COUNTY
SUSAN DOUGLASS - K-14 Education Outreach Coordinator, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University
HUSSAM AYLOUSH - Executive Director, CAIR-LA
HALIL ATAS - CEO North East Islamic Community Center
ZAHRA BILLOO - Executive Director, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
SHAMUDEEN - Imam, ICNEF
VOLKAN YILDIRIM - Religion Instructor, Lehigh dialogue center
FATIMA SULTAN - Executive Director, Zanbeel Art Inc.
AHMED GOMAA - President of the Board, Scranton Chapter, Islamic Association of North Eastern PA
SEDIN AGIC - Imam, Islamic Center of Bowling Green KY
SULEYMAN ERIS - President, Respect Graduate School
HESHAM A. HASSABALLA - Writer, "God, Faith, and a Pen"
OSAMA MULKI - Director, Islamic Center of Lawrence, Kansas
BAHA SAFADI - Chairman, Citizens Advisory Board for Fair and Impartial Policing
ASTHMA ZAIDI - Professor, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
A K TAYIEM - President of Islamic center of Leavenworth
KAMIL MUFTI - Resident Scholar/Imam, Islamic Foundation of Peoria
AMERICAN CENTER FOR OUTREACH
KAREN DABDOUB - Executive Director, CAIR-Cincinnati
ISLAMIC CENTER OF BOSTON
BASIM ELKARRA - Executive Director, CAIR Sacramento Valley
MUSLIM FORUM OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (MFPNW) SUMAIYA AHMED - Co-Founder, Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Council
M. ASHRAF SHAIKH - Chairman BOT
ISLAMIC CENTER OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA
NIHAT YESIL - President/Imam, The Blue Mosque [Houston]
FOZIA SALEEM-RASHEED - Neonatologists, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan
FOUAD KHATIB - President, Muslim Community Association, Santa Clara, CA
M. J. KHAN - President, Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH)
JOOHI TAHER - Executive Director, MUHSEN
SUMAIYA AHMED - Co-Founder, Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Council
BILAL ELSAKKA - Director of Tarbiya and Religious Services, MAS Community and Youth Center - Elk Grove
TAHIR U. ABDULLAH - Assistant Director of Spiritual Life & Advisor for Muslim Affairs, The University of Chicago
DANIELLE LODUCA - Writer and founder, YourAmericanMuslimNeighbor.com
TABISH HASAN - Founder, Muslim Ad Network
MUHAMMAD MUSRI - President, Islamic Society of Central Florida
JACOB BENDER - Executive Director , CAIR – Philadelphia Chapter
SARWAT HUSAIN - President, CAIR-TX
BILAL ANKAYA - Imam/Director of Interfaith Dialogue, The Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies and Ezher (bloom) Mosque
AAMER AHMED - President, MA'RUF
MUSTAFAA CARROLL - Executive Director, CAIR-TX, Houston Chapter
HAMID KHAN - Deputy Director, The Rule of Law Collaborative and Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina
MICHAEL WOLFE - President, Unity Productions Foundation
ALEX KRONEMER - CEO, Unity Productions Foundation
FAISAL QAZI - Vice President, The Whitestone Foundation
MUSTAPHA ELTURK - Ameer, Islamic Organization of North America IONA
DALIA F FAHMY - Assistant Professor of Political Science , LIU
MANZOOR GHORI - Majlis Member, ISNA
SHAMIRA CHOTHIA AHMED - Co-Founder, The Rahmah Foundation
JAWAAD A. RAHMAN - UPF, Director of Development
KHURRUM WAHID - National Chairperson, Emerge USA
UBAYDULLAH EVANS - Executive Director, American Learning Institute for Muslims
PATRICIA ANTON - Executive Director, Alanur
MOHAMMAD IQBAL AL-NADVI - President | Executive Director , Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada | Al-Nadwa Institute
DANIELLE LODUCA - Director, TheHatebusters.org
MASUMA VIRJI - Co-Founder, United Muslim Foundation
AHMED NIAZY - Co-Founder, Message For Mankind
JAMAL HASSOUNEH - Board of Directors, Aisha Cultural Center
TARIQ RASHEED - Imam, Islamic Center of Orlando
ROOHE AHMED - Board Member , The Rahmah Foundation
KHIZR MOHAMED - Director, Al-Haya - Muslim Youths
ABDULREHMAN CHAUDARY - President, Muslim Center of Somerset County
HAJIRA SHUJAAT - Outreach Chair , Muslim Women's Organization
HASAN KHAN - Executive Director, Straight Path Capital Inc
ABDUL RAHMAN WAHEED - Co-Founder, Principal , Michigan Islamic Institute
NAIYERAH KOLKAILAH - President, Islamic Society of SLO County
UMER AHMAD - Board Member, SouthWest InterFaith Team (SWIFT) Illinois
ROOFI AHMED - Board Member, Noor Islamic Cultural Center
SHABBIR MOTORWALA - Co Founder, Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations
SHAMSHAD AHMAD - President, Masjid As-Salam, Albany, NY
MAHMOUD SHALASH - Imam, ISLAMIC center of Lexington
KHALID J. QAZI - Founding President, Muslim Public Affairs Council of WNY
FAISAL AHMAD - Director, The Fiqh Institute
MICHELE OUANSAFI - Principal, Nooran Islamic School
PEMBE YASARLAR - Director of Education , Crescent Academy International
MOHAMMED MOHIUDDIN - Chairman, Board of Trustees, Islamic Society of Frederick
AASIM RASHID - Founder, Principal, Al-Ihsan Educational Foundation
AIDA AMINZAI - Co-founder , Blessed Tree Foundation
YAMA NIAZI - Imam, Islamic Society of Santa Barbara
ABRAR MALIK - Imam/Mufti, Masjid AlFalah
QURAT MIR - Board, Founding Member , Rabata
LEILA DURIC - Women's Affairs Coordinator, Bosnian-American Islamic Cultural Center
KASHIF ABDUL-KARIM - Imam, Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford
SUZAN EL-RAYESS - Director of Development, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
MOHAMMAD JAFARI - Mufti, Resident Scholar and Lecturer
MASUMA VIRJI - Co-Founder, United Muslim Foundation
MUHAMMAD SATTAUR - Executive Director, Imam Ghazali Institute
SHAKIEL HUMAYUN - President, NYC Muslim Center
YAHYA MOMLA - Imam, BCMA, Masjid Al-Salaam and Education Centre
SHABINA AHMED - M.D., Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
SAHAR SHAIKH - President, Muslim Women's Organization of FL
MOHAMED ABUTALEB - Imam, Islamic Association of Raleigh
TUFAIL AHMED - Scholar, Al-Bilal Academy | Senior Teacher, Hollings Youth Association Co Founder
SALMAAN PARKAR - Sheikh, Australian Islamic College
MALIHA SHEIKH - Learning Coach/Programs Coordinator, Sanad Trust Foundation
SALMAN MALIK - President, Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England
AZHAR DALAL - Board Member, Islamic Center of Greater Miami
OLIVER MUHAMMAD - Senior Imam, As Salaam Islamic Center of Raleigh
HAMAD ALI RASHID - Imam , California Islamic Center
HAFEZ EL ASSALI - Board Member, Islamic Center of N.E. Florida
HAJIRA SHUJAAT - Outreach Chair , Muslim Women's Organization

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Check out the solidarity shown in the Catskills! Go to this link!

Anti-Islamberg motorcycle rally fizzles as hundreds turn out to support Catskills Muslims

Above: Thirteen "American Bikers United Against Jihad" vehicles drive by hundreds of Islamberg supporters in the Delaware County town of Tompkins on Sunday, May 15. Video and photos by Julia Reischel. 

A planned motorcycle protest against Islamberg, an African-American Sufi Muslim community in the Catskills, backfired on its organizers on Sunday, May 15, when they were vastly outnumbered by hundreds of cheering Islamberg supporters who gathered to defend the community from charges that it is an “Islamic jihad training camp.”

About 200 to 300 pro-Islamberg demonstrators lined the sides of Roods Creek Road in the Delaware County town of Tompkins at 1 p.m., the time that American Bikers United Against Jihad (ABUAJ) planned to take a “Ride for National Security” past the community’s entrance and the “Islamberg” sign that flanks it. 

The purpose of the ride, according to ABUAJ’s website and Facebook event, was to call for the U.S. State Department to designate Islamberg and its parent organization, The Muslims of America, “an international terrorist organization.” 

Above: Pro-Islamberg demonstrators line Roods Creek Road. 

ABUAJ organizers had told the New York State Police to expect 70 riders, but at the appointed time, amid unseasonable snow flurries, only five motorcyclists and eight other vehicles participated in the ride.

As they drove past the entrance to Islamberg, the ABUAJ bikers passed through a gauntlet of Islamberg supporters waving American flags and chanting, “Freedom, Justice for Islamberg.”

The ABUAJ bikers, as planned, did not stop. The entire ride took less than two minutes.

Still, preparations for the event used up considerable resources. Islamberg officials sent out a fundraising plea right before the event to help cover the costs. More than 20 police officers from the New York State Police participated in the event, according to Major James Barnes, the commander of the New York State Police’s Troop C.

Barnes, who was personally present at the demonstration, said that other officers from other law enforcement agencies were also on standby for the day.

Above: Demonstrators support Islamberg with "Stand for Justice" and "Stop Harassing Muslims" signs. 

Barnes said that the ABUAJ riders had the right to assemble peaceably and express their beliefs, and that the group had cooperated with law enforcement throughout the day.

“Fizzled out”

While the ABUAJ protest “fizzled out,” according to Faruq Baqi, an Islamberg spokesman, the hundreds of people who arrived to support Islamberg were making history for the small, once isolated community.

“This is history,” said Ismail Shahid, who was raised in Islamberg, as he surveyed the crowd of supporters at the community’s front gate. Shahid said that the rally and crowd were unprecedented for Islamberg.

“We never had the opportunity to reach out to our neighbors like this,” he said. “There have never been this many guests in Islamberg.”

The gathering, a boisterous, racially diverse affair, was unusual for Delaware County, a largely white, rural region that isn’t prone to public protests.

Above: A demonstrator holds a "Biker Bigots Begone" sign. 

Two busloads of Islamberg supporters had come from Oneonta, according to the Daily Star, and others drove from as far away as Albany and as close as the neighboring communities of Hancock and Deposit.

Members of a neighboring but unaffiliated Sufi community in Sidney, the Osmanlı Nakş-ı'bendi Hakkani Dergahı, attended. So did a group organized by a local Unitarian church and reporters from most local and regional newspapers.

Multiple documentary filmmakers were in attendance, including Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams and David Felix Sutcliffe, who directed “Terror,” a new documentary about FBI informants.

Kathy Manley, a lawyer affiliated with the Muslim Solidarity Committee of Albany and Project SALAM, held a sign that said “We Are All Muslim Today.” She had driven to Tompkins with a carload of people from Albany. 

“When we heard about this, we said that we wanted to be a part of it,” Manley said.

Above: Kathy Manley, right, holds a "We Are All Muslim Today" sign. 

Above: Demonstrators line Islamberg's driveway. 

“This is the most life-affirming thing I’ve ever been involved in,” said Nancy Furdock, who lives just over the mountain from Islamberg. Last month, Furdock organized a community forum in the village of Hancock to introduce Hancock residents to Islamberg residents. 

Furdock said that although she has lived nearby for 16 years, she didn’t really know Islamberg's residents, “aside from seeing them in the laundromat and the store.”

In February, she decided to change that.

“I kept hearing lies, rumors and vicious attacks against my neighbors,” she said. “I heard all this terrible stuff about them, so I reached out to them. That’s what you do to find out the truth.”

Furdock invited a group of women from Islamberg over to her house, where they had tea. That conversation led to an ongoing friendship. Furdock had a seat of honor at the press conference that followed the demonstrations on Sunday.

Above: State Police deputies line Roods Creek Road after the demonstration. 

“I think it’s ignorance”

After the ABUAJ convoy passed Islamberg, the mood of the crowd turned festive. The hundreds of demonstrators walked down Islamberg’s long, rocky dirt driveway to a large white tent that had been erected in a field on the property, where food was served and speeches were made.

Major Barnes of the State Police remained to mingle with the crowd. As he has in the past, he said that rumors that Islamberg is a jihadist training camp are false.

“We have no concerns,” he said, adding that he has personally visited Islamberg many times.

Asked why he thinks that the rumor persists, Barnes said, “I think it’s ignorance. People are uneducated about the community here.”

Above: Demonstrators begin to disperse after ABUAJ riders pass Islamberg.


Wonderful unifying event in honor of MLK Day and in unified support for our Muslim community!  For the whole story go to:
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/01/interfaith_meeting_shows_suppo.html

Siri Liv Myhrom writes about Advent

     Advent is expectant and full of hope.  There's also a solemn quality to the waiting - not dour or dreary - something grounded and okay with a close stillness, a quality that honors the waiting itself as sacred.

       It is a patient season.  It asks us to be patient, too.  Advent asks us to make peace with the lingering and reminds us that we can.  It gently shows us again that there can be deep joy in that in-between place, that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other pace.
Read more . . .
_______________________________________________________
Siri Liv Myhrom writes about
the four weeks of Advent

       Advent is expectant and full of hope.  There's also a solemn quality to the waiting - not dour or dreary - something grounded and okay with a close stillness, a quality that honors the waiting itself as sacred.

         It is a patient season.  It asks us to be patient, too.  Advent asks us to make peace with the lingering, and reminds us that we can.  It gently shows us again that there can be deep joy in that in-between place, that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other pace.
More . . .  
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Christians celebrate

the birth of Jesus

                                                                                 Nativity - Brian Kershisnik

_________________________________________________________
In the U.S. Pope Francis called attention to
the hungry and the homeless

A man sleeps on a sculpture of a figure called "Homeless Jesus" in front of the
Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Charities offices in Washington D.C.
on Sept. 16, 2015.  Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Pope Francis Embraces Washington's Hungry and Homeless

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Europe unexpectedly sees

"The Jungle"
 

Refugee Camp in Calais, France
    
     Because of its proximity to the U.K., the port city of Calais, France, now has an unofficial refugee camp called "The Jungle."  From this location many refugees attempt to stowaway on vehicles entering the channel tunnel, or attempt to walk the length of the tunnel.

     An estimated 3,000 people live in the camp which covers 40 acres of sand dunes once used for landfill.  Nationalities represented include Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria.
                
     In the Eritrean quarter, a wooden church has sprung from the sand.

     Two wooden crosses perch on each end of the sloping roof.  Worshipers remove their shoes at the door.  One young woman kisses the plywood wall before entering.  A group of women kneel in front of icons.

     The pastor - a migrant himself - says he holds sermons here every day for around 100 people and everyone is welcome.

     Seeing "The Jungle," a backdrop of desperation, fears of a migrant "invasion" had grown within the U.K.   As all of Europe wrestles with the question of how to respond to the huge wave of immigration, thousands more continue to flee the wars ravaging their countries - and the United States searches for answers to how, and how quickly, our country can also respond to the overwhelming number of refugee families in today's world.

                                                       Sources:  CNN and Sojourners magazine

    Read Nicholas Kristof's "Refugees Who Could Be Us"

See Robert C. Koehler's "There Are No Migrants, Only Global Citizens"

____________________________________________________________
Tragedy in Charleston
Reflections and Responses
                                                                                   Win Mcnamee/Getty Images 

Photos of the nine people slain in Emanuel A.M.E. Church
  were shown during a service at another church in Charleston 

     "You attack the center, whatever you think is going to hit at the heart," said the Rev. Henry A. Belin, pastor of the Bethel First A.M.E. Church in Harlem.  "The black church has been the heart."

                                            --                                                                         
______________________________________________________
Now, a conversation must begin

Parker Palmer reflects on "sharing our loves and doubts" as a way into more
generous conversations - all this, through the lens of a poem by Yehuda Amichai, one of Israel's greatest modern poets.

                                              
The Place Where We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai

                               From the place where we are right
                               flowers will never grow in the Spring.

                              The place where we are right
                               is hard and trampled
                               like a yard.

                               But doubts and loves dig up the world
                               like a mole, a plough.
                               And a whisper will be heard in the place
                               where the ruined
                               house once stood.
 
Parker Palmer's essay

__________________________________________________________

For background as the conversations begin


"Confederate Flags and Institutional Racism" by Charles M. Blow

"Slavery's Long Shadow" by Paul Krugman

"The Architecture of Segregation"- NY Times Editorial

_____________________________________________________________
Martyrs
Icon of the 21 martyrs of Libya by Tony Rezk

     The persecution of Christians reached historic levels in 2014, according to Open Doors USA, which estimated that 100 million Christians around the world face dire consequences for practicing their faith.  North Korea topped the list of offending nations, with Iraq third and Syria forth.  Other regimes among the worst for Christians were Somalia, Iran, Pakistan, and Nigeria. . . .

     Christians are not the only ones being persecuted by radical islamists.  Last summer ISIS set out to decimate members of the Yazidi sect, an ancient religious minority in Iraq.  Hundreds of Yazidi men were killed, women were taken as slaves, and thousands more were forced to flee.  And ISIS's primary targets for persecution remain moderate Muslims viewed as having betrayed the faith.  Many more Muslims than Christians have been killed by ISIS.


          In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask [people] how they're doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haul-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?  How is your haal?

         
What is this haal that you inquire about? 

          It is the transient state of one's heart.  In reality, we ask, "How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath? 

          When I ask, "How are you?", that is really what I want to know. . . .

          Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, "I am just so busy," we can follow up by saying, "I know, love. We all are.  But I want to know how your heart is doing."

                          From Omid Safi's "The Disease of Being Busy"

____________________________________________________
QUIZ:
The World's Christian Population

Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images 

          Today, less than 1% of the world's Christians live in the place where Christianity began - the Middle East-North Africa region.  With only about 4% of its residents identifying as Christian, the region's share of Christians is the smallest in the world, says a Pew Research report. 

          How much do you know about the world's Christian population?  How many Christians are there?  Which country has the largest Catholic population, and which has the largest number of Protestants?


        Test your own knowledge of the global Christian population.
          __________________________________________________________
Pew Forum also offers a comprehensive report:
 "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity" 

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