Muslims, Jews Demonstrate Interfaith Harmony

Lathrup Village, MI: On Sunday, September 24, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) participated in a service marking the second day of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, at the Jewish Community Center of Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The two-hour service focused on the importance of Abraham and sacrifice in the Jewish and Islamic faiths. CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid addressed the congregation for approximately 20 minutes and fielded numerous questions about Islam after the service.
CAIR-MI was invited to participate at the same location for the fast-breaking service of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, on October 2, which again falls during the month of Ramadan in which Muslims also fast.
Meanwhile in Sacramento Senator Carole Migden, (D-San Francisco & North Bay) and Assembly Member Paul Koretz, (D-West Hollywood) announced September 25 that they will be joined by Sacramento area Muslim and Jewish leaders next week to issue a joint statement regarding the coinciding Jewish and Muslim holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan this year.
"To those who think that we are in a clash of civilizations, I say let them come to California. Here, no one bats an eye when Ramadan is celebrated just a day after Rosh Hashanah. California is proof that anything - especially peace - is possible if good people are willing to work hard and achieve it, instead of sowing seeds of discord to further their own political ends," Said Senator Migden. "On the eve of solemn and holy observances among the Jewish and Muslim people, we should all say a prayer for peace and understanding in the world."
The statement will bring together religious organizations and leaders such as Basim Elkarra from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Rabbi David Wechsler- Azen, Rabbi Nancy Wechsler-Azen from Congregation Beth Shalom, and the Sacramento Committee on Conscience.
"As we welcome Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah at a time of increased prayer we wish both communities a blessed holiday" Said Basim Elkarra, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley Office. "We believe the coincidence of the two holidays will be a great opportunity for continued dialogue and to promote understanding to make California a center of interfaith harmony."
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and beginning of the 10 days of introspection and reflection which culminates at Yom Kippur. Ramadan is the period of daytime fasting and contemplation which lasts for a lunar month of about 28 days. It commemorates the transmission of the Qur'an by the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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