In a pair of speeches made over Independence Day weekend, the president pledged to defend America’s history and ideals and warned against those who seek to wipe out the “very blessing our ancestors fought so hard for.” “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, […]
NEW YORK (RNS) In an effort to continue interfaith cooperation and prevent backlash against Muslims, Jews and Muslims are coming together here to memorialize the Jewish victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
Imam Mohammed Shamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier, who recently appeared together in Manhattan during November’s national Jewish-Muslim “Weekend of Twinning,” will each speak this Friday (Dec. 5) at New York City’s Islamic Cultural Center.
On Saturday morning, the Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, will join them at the New York Synagogue for a second tribute.
Mumbai’s Chabad House, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community center directed by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, was one of the targets in the attacks in late November. The Holtzbergs were among more than 170 people killed in the Indian metropolis over the three-day period.
Ali and Schneier say they hope the joint tributes will help prevent grieving Jews, Hindus and others targeted in the Mumbai attacks from turning their anger towards Muslims, a major concern for Muslim groups in India and the United States.
On Tuesday (Dec. 2), the Muslim Public Affairs Council sent a letter to the Bush administration and the Obama transition team, calling on them to promote a message of tolerance and to encourage India to take precautions against a possible backlash against its Muslim minority, about 13 percent of the country’s population.
As a Muslim cleric, Ali said he felt compelled to explain that terrorists, despite calling themselves Muslims, do not represent his faith.
“It’s very painful and sad to us whenever a Muslim commits terrorism and says it’s in the name of religion,” he said. “Terror and terrorism cannot be justified at all.”
By Nicole Neroulias
Religion News Service
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