Response to the Foiled New York Terror Plot

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Posted May 21, 2009      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf - Chairman, Cordoba Initiative

The shocking events of this morning have touched me deeply. As a man of faith, I feel the trauma of the New York Jewish community and I look to God, the God of all Biblical prophets, for guidance and support for local Jews and Muslims in this trying time. For those of us from both communities who have worked so hard over so many years to build platforms for understanding and collaboration – from Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to hosts of living room dialogue sessions – today’s news can seem a crushing blow.

Even so, signs abound that the Jewish and Muslim communities remain resolutely committed to working together. With one voice, we call for strengthened relations between our communities even as we unequivocally denounce all acts of terror.

A heartening story comes to mind: just a few months ago, a Muslim woman approached the Riverdale Jewish Center – the same synagogue targeted in this morning’s heinous bomb plot – because she had nowhere to pray. With open arms, this Jewish community allowed her entry to fulfill her religious obligation.

Such stories mean we are on the right track. When I founded Cordoba Initiative in 2004, I did so in the hope that we might further the kind of coexistence lived by our Jewish and Muslim ancestors in Cordoba, Spain, for generations. Neither the passage of time nor the terror of extremists should make us forget our common history or prevent us from reaching our goal.

Jewish and Muslim communities must continue to join hands against the threat of violent extremism. As an Imam, I believe that religious solidarity can and must be a force for the good of all – let us not allow the depraved actions of a few to diminish the good work of so many Jews and Muslims.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Chairman, Cordoba Initiative