The Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement Requests a Show of Solidarity Against Violence of All Kinds
In light of the vandalism inflicted upon Masjid Al-Hoda in Kingston, RI last night, we call upon our wider community to stand with us against hate and violence in all forms against any group of people. We invite you to join us this evening at Masjid Al-Hoda, 60 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI (on the URI campus), for an interfaith gathering. Please plan to attend (time TBD). RICMA stands with the press statement released by CAIR. We thank you in advance for an effort to support a more inclusive and caring community.
Adrian, Wendy, Aisha
Any press inquiries regarding the incident at the mosque should be directed to Dr Naser Zawiya, URI Graduate School Dean. (Contact information removed for archiving purposes.)
UPDATE: The interfaith show of solidarity was a tremendous success. Read about it at RIFuture.org.
May 22, 2016
The Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA) extend our deepest condolences for the Jewish communities in this state that are grappling with the frustration and distress caused by the discovery of a swastika painted on the Kollel sign on the grounds of Congregation Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket this past weekend. We stand in solidarity against hate and intimidation with those targeted by this blatant act of hatred and vandalism. We know firsthand that when any person is targeted with hateful speech and discrimination, we all suffer.
There is no place for anti-Semitism or any other forms of discrimination in this state, or anywhere in this world.
As seekers of Truth, Justice, and Peace in the world, we stand behind and alongside any community that feels threatened or intimidated in any way. "O you who believe, stand upright to God, witnesses for justice..." (Qur'an 4:135, 5:8). Therefore, we want to offer both the time and energy of the leadership within our organization and spaces in our community if they can be of any benefit to combat hatred, galvanize communities against injustice, or simply provide a safe space to reflect and find peace.
Again, we stand in solidarity with you, the Jewish community of Rhode Island and specifically Congregation Ohawe Sholam, against all acts of hatred and intimidation. We keep you in our prayers and we express our deepest regret and sympathy for these troubled times.
The Executive Board of the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement
Adnan Adrian Wood-Smith, President
Wendy Ibrahim, Vice President
Aisha Ikram, Secretary
Other Community Leaders
Mufti Ikram Ul Haq (Masjid Al-Islam)
Imam Farid Ansari (Muslim American Dawah Center)
Imam Qutaiba Albluwi (Masjid Al-Huda)
UPDATE: A gathering took place on May 26, 2016 to condemn the act, see a summary from the RICatholic.com.
On behalf of the RI Muslim community, the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA) would like to make the following statement.
We grieve and mourn with our neighbors, our fellow citizens, and with the families of the victims who have suffered loss at the hands of extremists, such as in Paris and San Bernardino. These tragedies have caused pain and sadness to our hearts, and we pray that God blesses us all in the healing process.
We would like to join all faith communities and people of conscious in condemning these heinous actions. As community leaders, community members, and clergy, we would like to, as we have continuously done, openly and unambiguously declare that these acts do not represent Islamic faith and practices. The Holy Quran indisputably affirms the sanctity of Human life: “…whoever kills a soul…, it is as if they had killed all of humankind.” (Quran 5:32)
The backlash of these atrocious attacks has been felt deeply in the Muslim community nationwide. Inflammatory rhetoric as demonstrated by some politicians to isolate and marginalize American-Muslims is reckless and undermines the safety and security of our great nation. Such bigotry will only beget more hatred, fear, desperation and extremism. Thus, we call on all citizens and government officials to condemn such hateful rhetoric and gross intolerance which is inconsistent with the values of this nation.
The American-Muslim community in RI has seen unprecedented support from public officials, law enforcement, faith communities and fellow citizens, and we are deeply appreciative of this support.
As we strongly believe that hate can only be countered by love and peace, we will be expanding our engagement with the RI community through launching several educational and social programs across the state. The Muslim communities throughout the state will be hosting open house events at the local mosques and community centers in the upcoming weeks and on a continued basis thereafter. We encourage our fellow citizens to acquaint themselves with their fellow American-Muslims; we are your neighbors, your friends, your classmates and coworkers, your doctors and your patients, your students and your teachers and members of your armed services.
In such difficult times, we must stand together, united, in support of each other. We must not allow our enemies to divide us and to spread hatred, thus we must not isolate and marginalize members of the Muslim community who already fear backlash because of these events.
We encourage you, our fellow American citizens, to reach out to your American-Muslim neighbors, attend your local mosque, and help develop a culture of unity, peace, and tolerance.
We invite you to an open house at Masjid Al-Kareem (39 Haskins St., Providence, RI 02903) on Saturday December 19, 2015 from 1:00-3:00PM
Below are the list of speakers at the press conference at which this statement was released.
Bishop Nicholas Knisely – Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
Bishop James Hazelwood – New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Wiles – American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island
The Rev. Andrew Mook – Sanctuary Church
The Rev. Dr. Don Anderson – The Rhode Island State Council of Churches
Rabbi Sarah Mack – Rhode Island Board of Rabbis
Toby Ayers – Rhode Island for Community and Justice
Jim Vincent – NAACP
UPDATE: Read the RI State Council of Churches nice summary of the event here. And many thanks to the volunteers and attendees who made the open house a success.