IHW Occasions

11/3/10: Interfaith leaders Honor the Recent Victims of Terrorist Attack in Baghdad

Interfaith leaders Honor the Recent Victims of Terrorist Attack in Baghdad

Following   the criminal and terrorist attack at the Church of Lady of Salvation  that followed with more bloody and barbaric attacks on innocent  civilians in Baghdad, Muslim and Christian interfaith partners gathered at the Islamic House of Wisdom for a night of dinner, dialogue, and  prayer for the souls of  the victims of terrorism in Iraq.

Brother   Khalil Hashem welcomed members of the clergy community, organizational   leaders and members of numerous congregations.  He asked Imam Mohammad   Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of IHW to bless the interfaith assembly  with his words of grace and wisdom.

Imam  honored the memory of Christian and Muslim martyrs from the last few  days  in Baghdad and condemned the murderers as people without faith,  dignity and  spirit. Imam Elahi reiterated the need for dialogue to fend  off the murderous and the extreme voices in every religion. The three  faiths have a lot  more in common than most people realize, and it is  imperative that their followers focus on the commonalities to spread  more peace and justice in the world, he said.

Reciting   verse 40 from the chapter of Al-hajj in the Quran, imam reflected on  the sacredness of places of worship, especially Mosques, Churches,  Synagogues and Temples. He called any threat or attack on places of prayers  and meditation a crime against faith and spirituality.

Imam   Elahi condemned terrorism in all forms and said those who practice acts  of terrorism in the name of Islam in reality are the worst enemies of  Islam that put fuel to the fire of Islamophobia.

In   another part of his message, imam Elahi pointed out the season  of hajj and stated that more than 3 million Muslims are on their way to  perform a religious duty of their life time in answering the call of  Prophet Abraham who was the spiritual father of the 3 Abrahamic  religions.

In   hajj, every pilgrim must pray in the place where Abraham prayed. They must walk between the mount of Safa and Marwa in search for spiritual  water, where the wife of Abraham searched for water for her son Ismail. In the end there is a sacrifice of meat that is distributed to the poor   and pebbles are thrown on the pillars in Mina to celebrate the sacrifice  and struggle of Abraham against the Satan.

Imam   Elahi further stated that we all are children of Abraham and the name of our father is mentioned in the Quran 69 times! We as followers of  Abraham must follow Abraham's faith, submission, sincerity, sacrifice,  patience, prayer and determination.

Let's   all be united against the cancer of extremism in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and save our youth from any criminal hijackers of faith who are  ran directly or indirectly by the people of politics and power whose  greed for domination and materialism has no limit.

Imam   Elahi ended his words with prayer for those who lost their lives in  Churches, mosques and streets of Iraq and asked God for a speedy  recovery for the wounded and patience for the government and people of  Iraq.

Following   imam Elahi's words the interfaith leaders shared Abrahamic traditions and values and prayed for the victims of terrorism in Iraq. Some of the participants who expressed their views  included, Fr. Ventline, Bishop Haddan, Rev. Felix, Br. Dawud Walid, Dr. Talal Turfa, Imam Saleh, Jack Samaan, Dr. Afif Shokair and others. More details to be added to our online publication- stay tuned!

We are hoping to receive their comments to be used in IHW publications soon inshaallah.