standing together in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters

September 11, 2010
 
 

As religious leaders in Cheyenne, the Cheyenne Interfaith Council stands with other religious leaders across this country who met on September 7 "to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community. We bear a sacred responsibility to honor America’s varied faith traditions and to promote a culture of mutual respect and the assurance of religious freedom for all. In advance of the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we announce a new era of interfaith cooperation." (** see link below)

…"We acknowledge with gratitude the dialogues between our scholars and religious authorities that have helped us to identify a common understanding of the divine command to love one’s neighbor." (** see link below)

The Executive Committee of the Cheyenne Interfaith Council gives support to the full statement put forward by the National Council of Churches can be found at the link through the following link at ncccusa.org:

** http://www.isna.net/articles/News/Beyond-Park-51-Religious-Leaders-Denounce-Anti-Muslim-Bigotry-and-Call-for-Respect.aspx

Additionally, the Cheyenne Interfaith Council supports our member congregation, Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne and Rev. Dana Lightsey, in the organization of a rally on Saturday, September 11 to "Stand on the Side Of Love with our Muslim brothers and sisters".
 
 
*** TIME TO RALLY***
 
Members of the  Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne Social Justice Planning Team and our minister, Rev. Dana Lightsey call on all of us to stand up in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters and condemn the hate-filled act of burning the Muslim holy book of the Koran on Saturday 9/11 in Gainsville, FL.
 
(details of event updated as of 9-10-2010)
 
Please join with us as we gather at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne at 10:30 am-12:00 pm Poster making opportunity at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne. (3005 Thomes Avenue)

12:30 pm-1:00 pm Display our posters at the corner of 16th St. and Central Avenue (across from the Depot)

1:00 pm-1:30 pm Walk up Central Avenue to the State Capitol. (We must be careful not to block traffic or other pedestrians.)

1:30 pm-2:30 pm Rally at the State Capitol.

Please join us for this very important opportunity to support our Muslim brothers and sisters, and demonstrate that we really do stand on the side of love and tolerance for all faith traditions.

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The Cheyenne Interfaith Council (CIC) is an organization made up of local religious and organizational leaders with a stated purpose of "Bringing hope and understanding to our community as we respectfully embrace our diverse sense of sacredness."

The Cheyenne Interfaith Council sponsors and/or supports a number of activities and organizations in Cheyenne, such as:

 

Contact information:

Rev. Kurt Borgaard, CIC President
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
307-634-7878  kurtborg@bresnan.net
 
Rev. Rick Veit, CIC Vice-President
St. Marks Episcopal Church
307-634-7709  Rickfveit@aol.com
 
Mohamed Salih, CIC Co-Secretary
Islamic Center of Cheyenne 
307-778-7113 sidsalih@gmail.com
 
Jeff Weinstein, CIC Co-Secretary
Mt. Sinai Synagogue
307-634-3052  j.weinstein@bresnan.net
 
Doug Fowler, CIC Treasurer
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
307-638-8966  DFCHY@aol.com
 
Rev. Dana Lightsey
Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne
307-638-4554 (church)
970-590-6978 (cell)  dlightphil@yahoo.com
 
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More information from the National Council of Churches

NCC's Kireopoulos: a lamentation for religious ignorance

NCC repeats condemnation of church plans to burn Qur'an

For thousands of families, Ground Zero in southern Manhattan is holy ground. Thousands lost someone they love in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and hundreds of thousands know someone who was directly or indirectly scarred by the collapse of the World Trade Center. The emotional investment in Ground Zero cannot be overestimated.

That is precisely why Ground Zero must be open to the religious expression of all people whose lives were scarred by the tragedy: Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and more. And Muslims.

No one knows how many Muslims died on 9/11, but they number in the hundreds. One was Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New York City police cadet, emergency medical technician and medical student. When Salman disappeared on September 11, law enforcement officials who knew of his Islamic faith sought him out among his family to question him about the attacks. His family lived with the onus of suspicion for six months until Salman’s body was identified. He was found near the North Tower with his EMT bag beside him, situated where he could help people in need.

The point of this now famous story is simple. Not every Muslim at Ground Zero was a terrorist, and not every Muslim was a hero. The vast majority were like thousands of others on September 11: victims of one of the most heinous events of our times.

But for the family of Salman Hamdani and millions of innocent Muslims, the tragedy has been exacerbated by the fact that so many of the rest of us have formed our opinions about them out of prejudice and ignorance of the Muslim faith.

It is that narrow-minded intolerance that has led to the outcry against the building of Cordoba House and Mosque near Ground Zero. It is the same ignorance that has led many to the outrageous conclusion that all Muslims advocate hatred and violence against non-Muslims. It is the same ignorance that has led to hate crimes and systematic discrimination against Muslims, and to calls to burn the Qur’an.

(the link below has more about this story)

NCC's Kinnamon supports building of a mosque at Ground Zero
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Webmaster's note:  the 9-11 Victims Memorial Website lists Mohamed Salman Hamdani please visit his page where he is remembered as a hero.    
 
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Other organizations taking a stand in solidarity with Cheyenne's Islamic Community: 
 
From Wyoming's Oldest synagogue: 
 
The Jewish community of Cheyenne condemns the planed demonstration and burning of the Holy Quran. As Jews we cannot remain silent.  We remember when the Nazis burnt books, the first violent step against Jews and others who did not share their views.
 
We believe that people of all religions should respect the holy books of others and tolerance of others is a fundamental American value.
 
Marvin Wolf  President
 
 
 
 
 
The Anti-Defamation League strongly condemns the reported plans of a Wyoming man to burn or otherwise mutilate a copy of the Koran on Saturday, September 11, in Cheyenne.  Burning an Islamic holy book or any religious book is an act of bigotry and religious intolerance. These plans are reprehensible, offensive, and contrary to American values of religious respect.  ADL calls on all Wyoming residents to speak out against this act of bigotry.  Wyoming is no place for hate. 
 
 
 
 
Webmaster's note:   The following is an excerpt from a letter written by this Nation's first President George Washington in August 1790 (a year before the Bill of Rights was ratified) "To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island" and seems appropriate to the topic at hand:
 

"The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

 
 
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Webmaster's note: The following are news stories relevant to the positions of the Cheyenne Interfaith Council Executive Board and its responses to this situation:

 
The following link is to a USA Today article about interfaith moral courage relevant to this situation:
 
 
Wyoming Tribune - Eagle:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WTE Editorial 9-12-2010: Ignore Quran burning
 
 
Cheyenne Channel 5 News:
 
Please Note: The following video links are slow to load.  If you want to watch them even with a fast connection you will need to be patient.
 
 
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