On the Anniversary of 9/11, We Honor the Victims through Service & Prayer

Los Angeles, CA: On September 9, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) commemorated the 11th anniversary of 9/11 with the final of three community events – an interfaith prayer service.

That morning, leaders from six faiths came together to offer prayers for the victims of 9/11.

“May the names of those who died stay in the hearts of their loved ones and communities and fill our hearts today with our gratitude for their sacrifices. We will not forget them,” said Rabbi Judith HaLevy of the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue.

That day will forever be marked with tragedy, sadness and loss; however through that day, we as Americans proved that immediately after the attacks, regardless of religious background, race or ethnicity, that under trying times we, will remain a unified and resilient nation.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, MPAC and ICSC participated in the 2nd annual national “Muslims for Life” blood drive. It started nationally last year in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with the goal of collecting more than 10,000 pints of blood. One pint of blood has the ability to save up to three lives.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, MPAC and ICSC honored the Japanese American community for their continued support of the American Muslim community following 9/11. Japanese Americans were first to defend Muslims against any backlash, as they knew too well the rage and hysteria that can fuel the most heinous crimes against any minority in a country as powerful as the United States.

For the past decade, Kathy Masaoka, of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, said she has been trying to bring Muslims and Japanese Americans together to get to know one another.

“We have been working on this relationship for more than a decade,” she said. “We have worked with the Muslim community to stop the chipping away of our Constitutional rights, such as due process.”

We cannot take for granted the freedoms we enjoy today. They can slip away at any time. We must work to engage other communities and sectors of society, and build friendships and alliances. Not only does that serve our vital interests, but it is also our Islamic obligation.

Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC and ICSC’s senior adviser, reminded those gathered that 9/11 should not be forgotten. “The option that America is leaning toward is that 9/11 is gone is becoming a memory,” he said. “The difference between memory and experience is that experience makes you grow and memories fade away. We are living in the era of fading away. It is up to the faith community of America to take our hands to salvation, to save us from our basic instincts and to bring the voice of God back to the consciences and hearts and minds of people.”

Founded in 1988, MPAC is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of Muslim Americans.

 

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