Dear Friends in Faith,
As the anniversary of the terrible events of 9/11 approaches, many people of good will are surely disturbed by the outcroppings of hatred and distrust—even violence—that are appearing across our land.
Sadly, this is not new to our country, but only the most recent expression of demonizing those who are seen as different from what is understood as normative. So today we are dismayed by expressions and acts of suspicion and hostility directed at all Muslims and their faith, rather than identifying the few in all of our religions who distort their faith tradition to justify terror. The accusations and assaults are receiving a hearing today because so many Americans know little about Islam, nor do they know Muslims as neighbors and fellow seekers of a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
Recent calls to oppose mosque buildings in several cities, violence against Muslims,
and desecration of their sacred texts are unworthy of our country; they stand outside our shared and honored traditions of tolerance and peace.
In the “Invitation to Pray Together …” (below), we call upon faithful people of all traditions to use the occasion of the 9/11 anniversary to affirm our unity with all people of good will and in committing ourselves to building the world we intend for our children and grandchildren.
You are welcome to use this invitation and share it with others without attribution.
A small, informal, interfaith group of Chicago friends.
*AN INVITATION TO PRAY TOGETHER FOR THE EXTINGUISHING
OF FIRES AND THE KINDLING OF A FLAME*
What could inflame hatred and violence more than to set afire that which
others hold sacred?
That hatred and violence surely must be the source and purpose of those who
promise to burn the Holy Quran on the day we Americans and the whole
world remember the tragic events of 9/11.
Let us not stand separated and silent on the weekend of 9/11—we who thank
God for the diversity and vitality of religious commitments in our nation
and who seek, from the wellsprings of our many faiths, to promote mutual
understanding and respect and to advance justice and peace.
We ask you, therefore, to join us in prayers that will kindle a different flame
a prayerful spark that will ignite us again to bring comfort to those who lost
loved ones on that terror-filled day and in the wars that followed from it;
a prayerful spark that will ignite us again to stand against the forces of
distrust of one another, hostility toward faiths other than our own, and
cruelty under the guise of devotion;
a prayerful spark that will ignite us again to stand with documented and
undocumented immigrants, the homeless and those losing their homes, the
jobless and the despairing;
a prayerful spark that will ignite us again to seek healing and reconciliation
at home and abroad for the cause of justice and peace.
In whatever way is in keeping with your own religious tradition, we ask you
to pray with us on the weekend of September 10 -12 that the fires of hatred
and violence in our nation and in our world will be extinguished and that,
together, we can be aflame for the cause of a truly Beloved Community.