Standing on the Side of Love with the Muslim Community
By Mar Cárdenas
My heart sunk when I heard my Muslim friend, Sarah, tell everyone at our potluck that Imam Taha had decided to close the Islamic Center on 9/11 out of fear that the mosque could be targeted on that day.
Sarah, a Muslim Latina who had been my contact on Facebook for quite some time, unbeknownst to me, are the rest of the wonderful UUs who attended the Wednesday potluck made the decision that we were going to be at the mosque and have a vigil to show the local Muslim community our support.
On Thursday the plan was put on hold. The imam had received some hate-filled calls. On Friday it was decided to go ahead with our plans. I had 24 hours to get as many UUs there as possible!
I set up the event on Facebook, invited every UU in my network and sent an invitation to the UUSB listserve. In the meantime Sarah and her team got busy planning a meal for us to show their gratitude. The mosque was not closed on that day after all!
Almost 30 UUs came! Most of them wearing our cheerfully yellow SSL shirts. The women wore headscarves to show the respect we felt for our new friends’ faith. The interaction was wonderful. We were invited to partake in the evening prayer session during which Imam Taha spoke gratitude-filled words about our group. We laughed and played and sang silly chants together.
When Sarah came to our Chula Vista campus to speak last Sunday, she told us how everyone in her group was in tears after we left. Now we were ALL in tears too! =)
For that one day we were all Muslims, we were all human beings holding each other close in times of adversity! Blessed be all our Muslim friends!