In the past few months, we have witnessed a surge in anti-Muslim sentiment in this country. We saw the fear and furor around the discussion of an Islamic Community Center and Mosque being built in New York City two blocks from “Ground Zero”. More recently, we learned that a small congregation in Gainesville, Florida, threatened to burn copies of the Qur’an (the Holy Scripture of Islam) on this day, September 11.
I believe that people of faith -- and certainly Unitarian Universalists -- should consider it their calling to speak against bigotry and to speak out for religious tolerance and interfaith understanding. People of faith should consider it their calling to stand on the side of love with our Muslim sisters and brothers who are now being persecuted, scapegoated, and targeted for hatred.
At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover (and along with many other UU congregations), we will do our small part to counter the hateful threatened act of burning copies of the Qur’an by reading a verse from it during our worship service on September 12, showing our respect and regard for the Islamic Scripture and tradition. We will go deeper in strengthening our understandings of Islam on October 10, when the sermon title will be “Surrender to Peace: An Appreciation of Islam”. May we all stand on the side of love with Muslims this September 11, and in the days to come. With our love, let us continue to work toward a more beautiful and peaceful world.
I encourage all people of faith to read and sign the “To Bigotry No Sanction, to Persecution No Assistance” petition.