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Interfaith Vigil and Anti-Islamophobia Teach-in

A report by Mother Catharine Reid

In response to last Friday’s horrifying violence in the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand several local gatherings were held at mosques here in our area. I, along with a standing room only crowd, attended on Monday evening what the organizers called an Interfaith Vigil and Anti-Islamophobia Teach-in sponsored by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) and held at MAPS (Muslim Association of Puget Sound) in Redmond. People of all faiths gathered, as Dean Thomason of St. Mark’s Cathedral put it in his letter to the cathedral congregation, “to lament once more the tragic consequences when hatred, xenophobia and easy access to assault weapons become the tragic combination that leads to a senseless loss of life”, as well as to hear how we can more actively respond as individuals and communities in support of our Muslim neighbors.

The program was begun and ended with prayer, and a variety of faith leaders and elected officials spoke. The most moving presentation was given by Nayab Khan whose lifelong friend was one of those who attempted to stop the shooter and later died of his wounds. But beyond the prayers, speeches and personal stories the most stirring address was by Aneelah Afzali, the MAPS-AMEN Executive Director who called us to move out of our comfort zones and to engage personally in the effort to combat islamophobia. Below you will see the ways we were given to take concrete steps in this struggle.

In addition, I want to include an invitation to a coming event at MAPS. Mosque Visit: American Muslim Women Speak Out by MAPS AMEN- American Muslim Empowerment Network described thus: “Join us for a presentation and panel of American Muslim women sharing their personal stories. You will also get a tour of the mosque, have the chance to observe prayer, and enjoy a free lunch! You won’t want to miss this unique interfaith opportunity of sharing, bridge-building, and breaking bread together!” See the link below.


May we all continue to uphold our Muslim brothers and sisters in prayer, and take what actions we can to help eradicate this and all forms of hatred and prejudice we encounter in ourselves and our communities.

12 Ways You Can Combat Islamophobia

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And equate it to other forms of hate, such as xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism.

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Mosque visit at MAPS on April 6
• Annual Interfaith Iftar at MAPS on May 15: (more info to come)
Sammamish Community Iftar on May 19

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Muslim Association of Puget Sound
Helping Hand for Relief and Development
Islamic Circle of North America
ICNA Relief/Muslims for Humanity
Islamic Center of Bothell
Islamic Center of Eastside
Masjid Madeena
Islamic Center of Kent
Muslim American Youth Foundation
Sammamish Muslim Association
Tri Cities Islamic Center
Islamic House
Bilal Islamic Community Center