Bahai News - Arab-Americans Fall Prey To Acts Of Violence

Arab-Americans Fall Prey To Acts Of Violence Officials With Churches And Human Rights Groups In St. Louis Call On Area Residents To Reach Out With Goodwill To Neighbors Of All Faiths

St. Louis Muslim, Jewish, Christian and human rights leaders meeting Thursday called on people of faith and justice to reach out to their neighbors and make this community a "shelter of peace."

"We want to be an example to the nation," said Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in the Central West End.

They want to reach out with acts of kindness, hospitality and goodwill to American Muslims of more than 30 ethnic backgrounds -- including 20th generation American Muslims and to Arab-Americans of other faiths, they said.

They said they do not want to allow this generation to abuse fellow Americans the way older generations abused German-Americans during World War I and Japanese-Americans in World War II.

"We all pray to the God not only of Abraham but the God of (his wife) Sarah and Hagar, who so loved their children," Talve said. "Our sacred language (Hebrew) is so close to Muslim's prayer language (Arabic) that we can understand their words without ever learning it."

The American Friends Service and the Human Rights Action League will go to shopping areas on Saturday that are popular with American Muslims to give support and peacefully observe that they are treated respectfully.

"We just want to do what we can to help protect people," said Martha Roy King, a member of St. Cronin's Catholic Parish and the Human Rights Action League.

Many Muslims in the community here have been overwhelmed by offers of support.

"Since Tuesday, people have been calling me all day and night to support us to tell us they us that they understand that we do not support this terrorism," said Nasser Mahmood, 41, executive administrator and founder of the Belleville Mosque on Collinsville Road in Belleville. "We are American Muslims. I was born in America. I love America. It is the best country in the world."

People of all walks of life have called the two mosques in St. Louis and West County to assure Muslims that they understand the differences between political fanatics and American Muslims, said Imam Muhammad Nur Abdullah.

Hundreds of Muslims are missing in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon, he said. He has one Muslim friend who has 500 acquaintances who work in the World Trade Center.

Hate must not be allowed to give birth to more hate, said Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Now is the time to learn more about Islam and to help the area become more inclusive, said the Rev. Lari R. Grubbs, cabinet chairman of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Both were attending the quarterly meeting Thursday morning of the U.S. Attorneys' Hate Crimes Task Force.

At their Thursday meeting, Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy, leaders of the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, Fair St. Louis, the St. Louis County Police Department, judges and social agencies urged patience and understanding this national crisis rather than intolerance and fear.

"The more people know, the less they will hate," said Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis, which sponsors and settles refugees and immigrants.

Muslims have a wide spectrum of religious practices and interpretations just as varied as fundamentalist Christians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Amish, Orthodox Christians and Catholics. In addition, there are many people with Middle Eastern roots who are members of the Christian, Baha'i and Jewish faiths, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, an Arab-Polish-American Catholic.

Many St. Louis Muslims were born here, Crosslin noted. Some of their parents were born here. About 400 Muslims and Christians from Afghanistan who have arrived here in the past two years are in fact fleeing the militant Taliban political group in Afghanistan, who may have some ties with the suspected suicide pilots in Tuesday's attacks, Crosslin said.

These Afghans, both Christians and Muslims, want to practice their religion without the extremes of the fundamentalist Taliban movement, t. Louis, which sponsors and settles refugees and immigrants.

Muslims have a wide spectrum of religious practices and interpretations just as varied as fundamentalist Christians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Amish, Orthodox Christians and Catholics. In addition, there are many people with Middle Eastern roots who are members of the Christian, Baha'i and Jewish faiths, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, an Arab-Polish-American Catholic.

Many St. Louis Muslims were born here, Crosslin noted. Some of their parents were born here. About 400 Muslims and Christians from Afghanistan who have arrived here in the past two years are in fact fleeing the militant Taliban political group in Afghanistan, who may have some ties with the suspected suicide pilots in Tuesday's attacks, Crosslin said.

These Afghans, both Christians and Muslims, want to practice their religion without the extremes of the fundamentalist Taliban movement, she said.

"Like our grandparents, the refugees are escaping the intolerance of religious and political fanatics," Crosslin said.

The Taliban militia makes all Afghan citizens with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones, requires that all male students wear turbans to school and forces non-Muslim minorities to wear a distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their clothing, Crosslin said.

Leaders here envision "shelter of peace"

St. Louis Muslim, Jewish, Christian and human rights leaders meeting Thursday called on people of faith and justice to reach out to their neighbors and make this community a "shelter of peace."

"We want to be an example to the nation," said Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in the Central West End.

They want to reach out with acts of kindness, hospitality and goodwill to American Muslims of more than 30 ethnic backgrounds -- including 20th generation American Muslims and to Arab-Americans of other faiths, they said.

They said they do not want to allow this generation to abuse fellow Americans the way older generations abused German-Americans during World War I and Japanese-Americans in World War II.

"We all pray to the God not only of Abraham but the God of (his wife) Sarah and Hagar, who so loved their children," Talve said. "Our sacred language (Hebrew) is so close to Muslim's prayer language (Arabic) that we can understand their words without ever learning it."

The American Friends Service and the Human Rights Action League will go to shopping areas on Saturday that are popular with American Muslims to give support and peacefully observe that they are treated respectfully.

"We just want to do what we can to help protect people," said Martha Roy King, a member of St. Cronin's Catholic Parish and the Human Rights Action League.

Many Muslims in the community here have been overwhelmed by offers of support.

"Since Tuesday, people have been calling me all day and night to support us to tell us they us that they understand that we do not support this terrorism," said Nasser Mahmood, 41, executive administrator and founder of the Belleville Mosque on Collinsville Road in Belleville. "We are American Muslims. I was born in America. I love America. It is the best country in the world."

People of all walks of life have called the two mosques in St. Louis and West County to assure Muslims that they understand the differences between political fanatics and American Muslims, said Imam Muhammad Nur Abdullah.

Hundreds of Muslims are missing in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon, he said. He has one Muslim friend who has 500 acquaintances who work in the World Trade Center.

Hate must not be allowed to give birth to more hate, said Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Now is the time to learn more about Islam and to help the area become more inclusive, said the Rev. Lari R. Grubbs, cabinet chairman of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Both were attending the quarterly meeting Thursday morning of the U.S. Attorneys' Hate Crimes Task Force.

At their Thursday meeting, Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy, leaders of the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, Fair St. Louis, the St. Louis County Police Department, judges and social agencies urged patience and understanding this national crisis rather than intolerance and fear.

"The more people know, the less they will hate," said Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis, which sponsors and settles refugees and immigrants.

Muslims have a wide spectrum of religious practices and interpretations just as varied as fundamentalist Christians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Amish, Orthodox Christians and Catholics.

The vast majority of Muslims, about 84 percent, are not of Arab descent. Muslims have roots in or live in Asia, Africa, Europe -- especially the Balkans -- Australia and North and South America. Many of St. Louis' Bosnian residents are Muslims.

In addition, there are many people with Middle Eastern roots who are members of the Christian, Baha'i and Jewish faiths, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, a Lebanese-Polish-American Catholic.

Many St. Louis Muslims were born here, Crosslin noted. Some of their parents were born here. About 400 Muslims and Christians from Afghanistan who have arrived here in the past two years are in fact fleeing the militant Taliban political group in Afghanistan, who may have some ties with the suspected suicide pilots in Tuesday's attacks, Crosslin said.

These Afghans, both Christians and Muslims, want to practice their religion without the extremes of the fundamentalist Taliban movement, she said.

"Like our grandparents, the refugees are escaping the intolerance of religious and political fanatics," Crosslin said.

The Taliban militia makes all Afghan citizens with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones, requires that all male students wear turbans to school and forces non-Muslim minorities to wear a distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their clothing, Crosslin said.

"Like our grandparents, the refugees are escaping the intolerance of religious and political fanatics," Crosslin said.

The Taliban militia makes all Afghan citizens with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones, requires that all male students wear turbans to school and forces non-Muslim minorities to wear a distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their clothing, Crosslin said.

Leaders here envision "shelter of peace"

St. Louis Muslim, Jewish, Christian and human rights leaders meeting Thursday called on people of faith and justice to reach out to their neighbors and make this community a "shelter of peace."

"We want to be an example to the nation," said Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in the Central West End.

They want to reach out with acts of kindness, hospitality and goodwill to American Muslims of more than 30 ethnic backgrounds -- including 20th generation American Muslims and to Arab-Americans of other faiths, they said.

They said they do not want to allow this generation to abuse fellow Americans the way older generations abused German-Americans during World War I and Japanese-Americans in World War II.

"We all pray to the God not only of Abraham but the God of (his wife) Sarah and Hagar, who so loved their children," Talve said. "Our sacred language (Hebrew) is so close to Muslim's prayer language (Arabic) that we can understand their words without ever learning it."

The American Friends Service and the Human Rights Action League will go to shopping areas on Saturday that are popular with American Muslims to give support and peacefully observe that they are treated respectfully.

"We just want to do what we can to help protect people," said Martha Roy King, a member of St. Cronin's Catholic Parish and the Human Rights Action League.

Many Muslims in the community here have been overwhelmed by offers of support.

"Since Tuesday, people have been calling me all day and night to support us to tell us they us that they understand that we do not support this terrorism," said Nasser Mahmood, 41, executive administrator and founder of the Belleville Mosque on Collinsville Road in Belleville. "We are American Muslims. I was born in America. I love America. It is the best country in the world."

People of all walks of life have called the two mosques in St. Louis and West County to assure Muslims that they understand the differences between political fanatics and American Muslims, said Imam Muhammad Nur Abdullah.

Hundreds of Muslims are missing in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon, he said. He has one Muslim friend who has 500 acquaintances who work in the World Trade Center.

Hate must not be allowed to give birth to more hate, said Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Now is the time to learn more about Islam and to help the area become more inclusive, said the Rev. Lari R. Grubbs, cabinet chairman of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Both were attending the quarterly meeting Thursday morning of the U.S. Attorneys' Hate Crimes Task Force.

At their Thursday meeting, Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy, leaders of the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, Fair St. Louis, the St. Louis County Police Department, judges and social agencies urged patience and understanding this national crisis rather than intolerance and fear.

"The more people know, the less they will hate," said Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis, which sponsors and settles refugees and immigrants.

Muslims have a wide spectrum of religious practices and interpretations just as varied as fundamentalist Christians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Amish, Orthodox Christians and Catholics.

The vast majority of Muslims, about 84 percent, are not of Arab descent. Muslims have roots in or live in Asia, Africa, Europe -- especially the Balkans -- Australia and North and South America. Many of St. Louis' Bosnian residents are Muslims.

In addition, there are many people with Middle Eastern roots who are members of the Christian, Baha'i and Jewish faiths, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, a Lebanese-Polish-American Catholic.

Many St. Louis Muslims were born here, Crosslin noted. Some of their parents were born here. About 400 Muslims and Christians from Afghanistan who have arrived here in the past two years are in fact fleeing the militant Taliban political group in Afghanistan, who may have some ties with the suspected suicide pilots in Tuesday's attacks, Crosslin said.

These Afghans, both Christians and Muslims, want to practice their religion without the extremes of the fundamentalist Taliban movement, she said.

"Like our grandparents, the refugees are escaping the intolerance of religious and political fanatics," Crosslin said.

The Taliban militia makes all Afghan citizens with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones, requires that all male students wear turbans to school and forces non-Muslim minorities to wear a distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their clothing, Crosslin said.


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