Nihad Awad: Let's help repair Malaysian Churches
“Muslims in America, Malaysia and worldwide must help protect all houses of worship, and thereby show the true spirit of Islam,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “American Muslims, as a symbol of their commitment to interfaith understanding and peaceful coexistence, will take the lead in helping to restore the damaged churches.”
Awad added: “Muslims cannot remain silent in the face of attacks on any houses of worship. Our community needs to take serious and prompt measures to reclaim the moral high ground established by Islamic principles.”
He noted that CAIR has taken action to defend the American Muslim community from similar hate crimes, including acts of vandalism at mosques nationwide.
SEE: CAIR Asks President to Address Rise in Anti-Islam Hate
Awad cited verses from the Quran and Islamic traditions mandating both respect for other faiths and the sanctity of houses of worship.
According to the Quran, Muslims are asked to maintain good relations with people of other faiths and to engage in constructive dialogue. “And dispute not with the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) except with means better (than mere disputation)…but say, 'We believe in the Revelation that has come down to us and in that which came down to you.’” (29:46)
Awad said Muslims are proud of the story of the Caliph Umar who received the keys to Jerusalem from the Christian patriarch Sophronius in the 7th century. When the Caliph was asked to pray in a Jerusalem church, he declined saying he did not want to provide a pretext for Muslims to appropriate a Christian holy site.
He noted that the early Muslims sought refuge with the Christian ruler of Abyssinia and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) drafted a constitution for the city of Medinah in which all groups were granted equal rights and freedom of religion.
In 2006, CAIR asked for similar donations to help repair Palestinian churches damaged following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI perceived as critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:
Demonstrate your desire to reclaim Islamic values and to promote the true spirit of Islam by protecting all houses of worship.
Go to www.cair.com to donate securely to the "CAIR Spirit of Islam Fund." One hundred percent of the donations will be turned over to the Malaysian embassy for use in repairing the churches.
Checks may be made payable to "CAIR" and mailed to:
CAIR Spirit of Islam Fund
453 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(Put "Spirit of Islam Fund" in the memo area of the check.)