On Islam
On Islam

Louisville, 7 Dzulhijjah 1436/21 September 2015 (MINA) – In a love protest against bigotry, hundreds of Louisville people in Kentucky have gathered to remove anti-Muslim graffiti, confirming deep interfaith relations between the community members of different faith groups.

“I think it’s very apparent that whatever the intended message the perpetrator had, it certainly backfired,” Ozair Shariff, a member of Islamic Center of Louisville board of directors said, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“Everyone is working together and in unison and that’s the true spirit of the city and its residents.”

Shariff was referring to anti-Muslim graffiti that appeared on the walls of the Islamic center on Wednesday night including messages that read, “this is for France” and “Moslems leave the Jews alone.”

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Expressing their opposition to the hateful messages, representatives from all major faith groups and congregations gathered on Friday there to show support, along with students from private, public and Catholic schools.

After Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the mosque president and other faith and community leaders made brief comments, volunteers took turns painting brush strokes over the messages.

Supplies for the painting were donated by local residents and organizations, Shariff said.

Matt Goldberg, development director of the Jewish Community of Louisville, joined the cleanup crew, along with more than 100 volunteers from the Jewish community.

“No one imagined something like that would happen here in Louisville,” Goldberg told The Huffington Post on Friday.

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“We pride ourselves on our tolerance and our diversity. It was a shock to the system.”

Goldberg praised the large and very liked Muslim community, adding that it frequently partners with the Jewish community on service projects.

The center also hosts an annual interfaith iftar during Ramadan which attracts a large turnout from the Jewish community.

Similarly, the Jewish community hosts yearly interfaith Hanukkah celebrations and Holocaust commemorations, which members of the mosque attend.

The two communities also have worked together to raise money to aid victims of natural disasters, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and record-breaking flooding that ravaged Pakistan the same year.

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Goldberg added that the recent vandalism will only reaffirm the longstanding alliance.

“Something like this is only going to bring our communities together,” he said.

“We won’t stand for any kind of discriminatory actions.”

The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million. (T/P006/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)


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