Chicago IL: It was a Memorable and Historical event. More than 1,000 people turned out for the DuPage County for Solidarity with Muslims on Sunday, February 28, 2016 between 3.30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. at Shalimar Banquets in Addison. In collaboration with DuPage United, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) is leading the year-long ‘Solidarity with Muslims’ Campaign with a launch event expected to attract 500 people of diverse faiths. As Muslims23 they had an opportunity to create a counter-narrative, replacing “us” and “them” with “we the people.” This event was also presents Muslims with a venue to reach out and speak to their neighbors of other faiths. This campaign is intended for relationship building. That is vital especially as the election campaign goes into full swing in the late summer & fall. Developing interfaith voices starts by talking one-to-one to each other.
01The program started with opening remarks by Mr. Atassi and Pledge of Allegiance by boys scout Islamic Center of Naperville.
Among the speakers who had leaded these courageous conversations was Former professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins of Wheaton College, Mohsin Ishaq, Muslim Student Association (MSA) president at IIT, and Reverend James Honig from Faith Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn
Members of the audience had encouraged engaging in one-to-one conversations with those of different faiths.
Former Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins Said “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they like me, a Christian, are people of the same book, we worship the same God. Hawkins said she has been criticized by other Christians for standing in solidarity with Muslims.
Tabassum Haleem, Executive Director of Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) explains to the audience “We aim to replace ‘us’ and ‘them’ with ‘We the People’. These one-to-one conversations are intended to build understanding and develop interfaith voices that make clear the shared American values that bind us,”Mr. Joe Yucha explains “ it’s very easy to judge people based on race, religion, culture or other characteristics that make them different”.
There is no more appropriate time for us to stand together in solidarity with one another, no greater purpose than for us to come together to show our Stand Together DuPage With Muslim Neighbor. One audience said “We are stand with my Muslim neighbors. As a pastoral leader in the Christian tradition and of a Christian congregation, as a leader in my community, we speak out publicly that we all stand with our Muslim neighbors and colleagues”.
DuPage United, Lake County United, United Power for Action and Justice, Fox River Valley Initiative are part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s first and largest network of multi-faith community organizations. Joining in solidarity with area Muslim is not new for them. Shortly after 9/11, United Power for Action and Justice, along with DuPage United and Lake County United, organized 10,000 people at Navy Pier, bringing Muslims and non-Muslims together to relate, much like today. In Germany, its sister organization has been working with Syrian refugees for better access to the most basic essentials to survive, and in 2009 DuPage United helped win the long battle to obtain zoning for the MECCA Mosque currently being built in Willow brook.
DuPage United is an inclusive, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose members are civil society institutions: churches, mosques, synagogues, non-profit agencies, and associations. This mix of institutions have come together to form public relationships and to act together to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. DuPage United engages in democratic action in the public arena.
This historic event was support of the following DuPage United member institutions: MECCA Center, Islamic Center of Naperville, Islamic Center of Wheaton, North Central College, Faith Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove Quakers, ICNA Relief, Muslim Society Inc., Islamic Foundation, Muslim Association of Bolingbrook, St. Marks Episcopal, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, The Union Church UCC, Church of the Holy Nativity-Episcopal and Congregation Etz Chaim.
Source: Syed Khalil Ullah
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