Oregon Faith News Note:
Jews, Muslims, and Christians gathered in a church in Portland on September 11 to commemorate the victims of 9/11 and give thanks for friendliness between people of all faiths as reported in the Catholic Sentinel. . Around 300 people attended the service, at which candles were lit to symbolize the hope of peace.
Shahriar Ahmed, president of the Bilal Mosque Association of Beaverton, was one of the speakers. HE recently shared in The Oregonian on what 9-11 has meant for him. Ahmed stated, “Almost every week since 9/11 we’ve had visitors, one or two kids will sit in on Sunday school, whole classes from high schools and colleges come in the school year. We do our best to answer every phone call, every voice mail, every email.For Muslims, 9/11 was a wake-up call to get up and be engaged. If it hadn’t come about, we wouldn’t have engaged as much as we have. Not that we didn’t want to, but it would have been easier to just think about our own families, our own children, our own community.”
There was singing by a Jewish cantor, a Methodist Choir, and a Muslim clergyman. A flutist played softly. Sherry Fishman, a Reformed Jew, glancingly referenced the 9/11 attacks. “All of our faiths have people who go rogue,” she said.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, agreed, saying “The greatest resource we have in these struggles is faith.”
“We remain resolved to reject extreme ideologies that perversely misuse religion to justify indefensible attacks on innocent civilians, to embrace persons of all religions, including our Muslim neighbors, and we welcome refugees seeking safety,” said Dolan. “We steadfastly refrain from blaming the many for the actions of a few and insist that security needs can be reconciled with our immigrant heritage without compromising either one.”
Mary Jo Tully summarized the evening’s events. “We remember those who were lost and we call their names,” she said. “We remember the heroes and heroines, those who risked their own lives so that others might live. And we pray.”
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