Remembering What the Quakers Were Saying the Day After 9/11/2001

Friends Committee on National Legislation
September 12, 2001

 

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Do you remember the ire silence in the skies on September 12, 2001.  No planes were flying.  No jet streams criss-crossed the skies. America was in shock trying to figure out what happened and who was responsible. Here is what the Friends were saying then.

Our hearts go out today to the victims of Tuesday’s terrible attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the people in the four civilian aircraft. We call on Friends and others across the U.S. to offer prayers, solace, friendship, and aid to the survivors, families, and friends of the victims.

We are concerned, however, about how the U.S. government responds now. First, we are concerned that the U.S. not avenge these attacks with attacks upon other innocent people who may happen to be of the same nationality, faith, or ethnic group as the alleged perpetrators. This concern extends to protecting the safety and rights of people here at home. Many in this country of the Islamic faith or of Middle Eastern descent are worried that they may now become the unwarranted focus of suspicion in their communities or, worse, the subjects of unjust persecution.

The Kurdish Peace Feast

“Can we just have 10 seconds of silence, please?” a Kurdish man asked.

It was our Kurdish Peace Feast. Three of his relatives had been killed by the ISIS group last week. He wanted us to honor their memory.

The feelings were raw in the room. Some were emotional and passionate.

“The US spent six million dollars for a tank that ISIS took from the Iraqi army and is now using against my people.”

Just days ago, this man had returned from a village caught between ISIS forces and the Yazidi people trapped on Mount Sinjar.

Imam Wasif shares how you might approach your Muslim neighbor. In the video he mentions food being “halal.” This word means “permitted.”  As a general rule this means avoiding all forms of pork and alcohol including gelatin and some types of vanilla that are made with alcohol abstracts. I have been with Muslim friends who meticulously read the ingredient labels in the grocery store. Other Muslim friends want to go to restaurants that serve halal food.  Usually though, if no halal meat is available, our Muslim friends will opt for a vegetation dish. Here is a site that gives some more information on halal foods.

Kurdish areas

I have been working on setting up an opportunity to get to know your Kurdish neighbors for several months.  Long before this ISIS group came into the mainstream news, I was talking with local Kurdish people about a Peace Feast.  I would thin with all the news coming from Iraq and Syria, you might want to hear what the local Kurds have to say. As a special treat, we will have Kurdish musicians performing for us.

This event will be at Little Jerusalem Cafe.  Sami always does such a wonderful job preparing our meals. The buffet meal will cost $10.  Please make  reservation now to help us plan for the event. We will need to limit this event to about 80 people. I hope you can join us!

Benchmark Events

Date: September 6, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Event: Kurdish Peace Feast
Topic: Our Kurdish Neighbors
Sponsor: Peace Catalyst International
(502) 424-5162
Venue: Little Jerusalem Cafe
(502) 614-6465
Location: 5312 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40214
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Palestinian Friends Are Starting Over

My Palestinian friend just posted pictures of his bombed apartment in Gaza. An estimated 65,000 Palestinians are now homeless with 1.8 million people displaced. Fortunately, my friend was not home at the time of the shelling. Just in case you are wondering, he was not a part of Hamas. He was an English teacher and loyal to Fatah, although that is becoming increasingly dangerous in a place like Gaza. He was so disturbed when Hamas won the elections in 2006 that he resigned his government teaching position and began looking for ways to study abroad. He was offered a full scholarship to study English Literature at a school in England, but he was not permitted to leave Gaza to receive that scholarship.

Oil, Cows, and Benevolence

I remember sometime in my educational process becoming aware of and wrestling with the term “benevolent dictator.” As a western, independent child of the enlightenment, I had assumed all dictators were bad dictators. I had only heard the word used in a negative context. But there are those in power who see it as a sacred honor and obligation to care for the people under their authority.

Peace Catalyst Articles

 

The purpose of Peace Catalyst International entries here are to create a greater understanding and respect among various cultures. How many conflicts could be minimized or totally avoided if we just understood each other an little better.  In that spirit, these posting try to shed light on things often misunderstood.