Participants at an interfaith Iftar event co-hosted by the American Muslim and Multifaith Women's Empowerment Council, the Mukhayriq Initiative, and the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) spoke out strongly against the terrorist attacks in Israel which have claimed 14 lives in recent days.
“At this Interfaith Iftar, let us be the light, and condemn today’s attacks on Jewish people in Israel,” said one of the organizers, Anila Ali, of the American Muslim and Multifaith Women's Empowerment Council.
The event brought together a diverse group of religious leaders, as well as politicians and civil rights activists, to break bread and show interfaith solidarity during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
Hundreds of North American families tuned in to the event to watch nine faith leaders from seven religions, two US Congress Members, and a US Senator share their condemnations and messages of peace with the Muslim community.
“We are extremely alarmed by recent events targeting the Jewish and Muslim communities. Islamophobia and Antisemitism have no place in Maryland and the United States,” US Senator Ben Cardin who represents Maryland, said at the event, which saw representatives from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian and Bahai faiths.
“We must work together to stamp out hatred against all people. I wish you an abundance of blessings,” said US Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22).
Ellie Cohanim of the Mukhayriq Initiative, a new Muslim-Jewish relations effort, and former US Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, said: "May we all open up our homes and hearts to people who look different and pray differently. Let the other be the other no more."
Sacha Roytman Dratwa, CEO of CAM, spoke about the importance of the event: “Especially now, as the people of Israel mourn for those murdered by terrorists, it is so important to hear from Muslim leaders a condemnation and strong sense of solidarity. I believe that religion has the power to be a force for good and unity, and religious leaders are saying that the murder, terror and bloodshed has to end.”
Finally, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion Ahmed Shaheed sent a special message to the participants praising the event and saying that “Ramadan is a time to be conscious of others, their needs and wants, and reach out to them, in solidarity, fraternity and support.”