ISNA Joins Gainesville Community in Call for Peaceful Response to Planned Quran Burnings
Posted Sep 9, 2010

ISNA Joins Gainesville Community in Call for Peaceful Response to Planned Quran Burnings

(Plainfield, IN Sept 9, 2010) The Muslim community in Gainesville, Florida has asked ISNA to communicate the following message on their behalf to the rest of the Muslim Community in America:

“A Day of Peace and Unity”

The acts of hatred and intolerance by the Dove World Outreach Center are an embarrassment to our community and have dishonored our great American society and ideals.  In order to denounce such acts and to promote the true character of our city, the citizens of Gainesville have spoken. Our religious and civic leaders have spoken. The Muslim community too will no longer be silent. We will speak with our actions as instructed by God Almighty, in the Holy Qur’an: “Good and evil cannot be equal; repel evil with something which is better and verily he between whom and thyself was enmity may then become as though he had always been a close, true friend.” (41:34)

The Muslim Community of Gainesville joins people of faith from a great variety of religious communities, as well as countless civic organization and the citizens in Gainesville, to stand together in affirmation of one another and condemnation of acts of violence, intolerance, and hatred.

The Muslim Community of Gainesville calls for “A Day of Peace and Unity.”  We will show our city, the nation, and the world that Gainesville lives the faith of love and care for all people across the barriers that far too often divide us.

We will affirm that the action of a small number of misguided individuals does not represent our great city or nation and that their actions do not represent Christianity, just as acts of intolerance do not represent Islam, as is too often portrayed.

So, while the supporters of ignorance burn books in our learned community, we, the citizens of Gainesville, will come together to donate books of all subjects to our local libraries.

While the advocates of bigotry and prejudice hope to incite hate and violence, we, the citizens of Gainesville, will donate blood to promote life and healing.

While the promoters of destruction and intolerance hope to divide and destroy our community, we, the citizens of Gainesville, will unite to provide food and friendship to those in need.

While factions of hate use fire as a symbol of intimidation and fear, we, the citizens of Gainesville, will light candles to promote peace and unity.

In preparation for the anniversary of 9/11, ISNA and other organizations nation-wide endorsed the “Muslim Serve” initiative and sent a call to action in the end of August.  We again ask you to participate in the MuslimServe initiative on 9/11 to fight hate by demonstrating how our Islamic values inspire us to serve humanity, rather than just through words and protests. All eyes will be on us this Eid and on 9/11. We can imagine what the headlines will be out of New York and Florida. But can you imagine the power of a headline or TV news story that features American Muslims as citizens, giving back to our country?

During the weekend of 9/11, please dedicate some of your time and energy to:
· Participate in a 9/11 commemoration event taking place in your city
· Volunteer in a local homeless shelter or food pantry
· Clean up a local park, highway or beach
· Bring donations of food and/or toys to soup kitchens or homeless shelters
· Visit your local churches, synagogues and temples to share offerings and well wishes
  for Eid

We cannot allow the hatred of a small handful of people spread its infectious disease across our great nation.  We must combat hatred with unity and peace.  Please join ISNA, the Gainesville community, and other faith communities nation-wide on 9/11 to act upon the ideals of unity, pluralism, and peace that this great nation represents.  To learn more about MuslimServe, please visit the ISNA website.