Friday, October 9, 2015
Interfaith Activists Will Counter Anti-Muslim Rallies - Carol Kuruvilla
Even though statistics show that domestic terrorism and white supremacists are a much bigger threat to Americans than radical Islam, anti-Muslim sentiment and hate crimes have swelled in America in recent years.
Now, a disturbing string of nationally coordinated rallies -- some that may draw angry and armed protestors -- is being planned for October 9 and October 10 at roughly 20 mosques or Islamic centers across the country.
But American Muslim communities are not being left to face these protestors alone. Interfaith groups are stepping in, offering to organize counter protests, build peace circles and engage in long-term community building.
That's what happened in Phoenix earlier this year, after a group of bikers organized an anti-Muslim rally outside a mosque. Religious leaders in the area organized an interfaith prayer vigil inside the targeted mosque, bringing about 200 community members of many different faiths together in a powerful show of solidarity.
Rev. Erin Tamayo, Executive Director of the Arizona Faith Network and one of the organizers of the vigil, said that the hate rally has actually strengthened interfaith networks in Phoenix. Her organization has developed close ties with two mosques in the area, setting the groundwork for their response this week.
"I'm sure the hate groups weren't hoping for that [positive outcome]," Tamayo told The Huffington Post. "But that's really what's happening here."
The full article is available here