Dupage County, 1 Jumadal Akhir 1437/10 March 2016 (MINA) – More than 1,000 people turned out for the DuPage County for Solidarity with Muslims Campaign held recently at Shalimar Banquets in Addison, Illinois.
The program commenced with opening remarks by Hanna Atassi of the Makkah Center (Education and Culture) in Willowbrook and the Pledge of Allegiance by the Boys Scouts Islamic Center of Naperville. Among the speakers, who led the courageous conversations, were former professor of Wheaton College Larycia Hawkins, Muslim Student Association President at IIT Mohsin Ishfaq and Faith Lutheran Church Reverend James Honig of Glen Ellyn. International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Hawkins said, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they like me, a Christian, are people of the same book. 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 explained to the audience, “These one-to-one conversations are intended to build understanding and develop interfaith voices that make clear the shared American values that bind us.”
Joe Yucha of Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn explained, “It’s very easy to judge people based on race, religion, culture or other characteristics that make them different”.
The event provided an opportunity for people of diverse faiths to create a dialogue with people of the Islamic community. “Many Muslims had an opportunity to create a counter-narrative, replacing “us” and “them” with “we” and an opportunity to reach out and speak to their neighbors of other faiths. Syed Khalil Ullah said DuPage United, Lake County United, United Power for Action and Justice, Fox River Valley Initiative are all part of the industrial areas foundation, the nation’s first and largest network of multi-faith community organizations. Joining in solidarity with area Muslims is not new endeavor for them, shortly after 9/11, United Power for Action and Justice along with DuPage United organized 10,000 people at Navy Pier, bringing Muslims and non-Muslims together to relate.
The event was supported by DuPage united member institutions: Makkah 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. (T/P006/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)