We at JRF stand in support and solidarity with our Muslim Sisters and Brothers during this 2010 celebration of the Holy Month of Ramadan and including the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the festival at the end of Ramadan, which this year coincides with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, as well as the start of the Jewish High Holy Days and Rosh HaShanah. This coincidence of events, particularly the proximity of Eid al-Fitr and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks presents very specific challenges.
All Americans have the right to feel safe. We have the right to celebrate our religious beliefs without harassment or fear of harm. We are aware that some of our fellow citizens are filled with many mixed emotions, as we have seen in the recent responses to the proposed building of the Islamic Cultural Center near the 9/11 attack site in New York (see links below). We are challenged to find a focus that will continue to unite us as a country that not only tolerates, but holds dear the religious liberty and freedom that is the right of each and of all who call this land “home”. We will work to guarantee that our Muslim neighbors have the same rights to which we all are entitled, including worshiping and celebrating their culture in their chosen places.
Resources and Articles:
CBS 60 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G68Jd5WqyZ4
Fact-checking the 'Ground Zero mosque' debate (Politifact.com)
What Would Our Founding Fathers Say About the 'Ground Zero Mosque'? (Huffington Post)
FACT CHECK: Islam already lives near ground zero (AP)
From Outreach to Outrage: The Story Behind the Ground Zero Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque (WNYC)
For Mosque Sponsors, Early Missteps Fueled Storm (New York Times)
Q&A on the proposed Islamic center (Washington Post)
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kramer: Park51 Should Not Be Complicated for Jews (Huffington Post)
Rabbi Michael Strassfeld: Why It Is Important that Jews Support The Building of the Muslim Center Two Blocks from Ground Zero (SAJ)
JCC leader advising couple behind Islamic center (JTA)
Rabbis Dennis and Sandy Sasso on New York Mosque(Indy Star)
Moving Islamic Center 'Not' On the Table for Now, Backer Says (ABC News)
Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes Approval of Cordoba House Mosque and Community Center (Religious Action Center)
American Muslim and Jewish Community:
Fascinating comments in this video blog from the NY Times, between two American Muslims-- a Duke professor and a journalist-- about what Muslims
can learn from the American Jewish community. It includes a very explicit shout out from the journalist to Reconstructionism!
Mona Aeltahaway, the journalist, was one of the leaders who participated in the summer of '09 in the retreat RRC sponsored for Muslim and Jewish emerging leaders. Mona wrote a great piece about her experience with us that she published in The Jerusalem Report. She is New York based, and anyone looking for a speaker on Islam should definitely consider her. www.monaeltahawy.com