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

Friends Committee on National Legislation
September 12, 2001

 

Friends Banner copy

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.

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.

Imam Wasif Iqbal and I have been friends for a couple of years.  He agreed to help me answer your questions about Islam. This video talks about how we can get beyond surface level conversations and ask the questions that truly help us understand each other.

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.

Saturdays with Matthew, Hummus & Friends

Most Saturday mornings Susan fixes a great breakfast. Friends arrive around 10. Sometimes as late as 10:30. Some are Iranian. Some are Palestinian, others Turkish, Pakistani, American and Yemeni. We always have halal food for our Muslim friends. Most weeks they pitch in. We have traditional eggs and pancakes mixed with dolma, samoosas, hummus and borek. Savory and sweet, somehow it all comes together over Turkish chai and American coffee. We were going to call it “Brunch and Share,” but we are friends, so most just call it breakfast. Fridays we send out a text message, “Are you coming to breakfast this week?” Six to ten usually show up.

“How did your week go?”

“Pretty good. Are you feeling better?”

Misunderstanding

To my way of thinking it is incredibly frustrating to be misunderstood.

I looked in my rear view mirror and a young man in an old Lincoln Towncar was right on my bumper and really agitated about something. I look at him in the mirror and he flipped me off. WHAT is going on with this guy? Eventually, I figure out that HE THOUGHT I had deliberately slowed up just as he was barreling down on my bumper. He thought I was being aggressive when in truth I was just shifting gears oblivious to his presence. I wonder if he had ever driven a car with a clutch. He stayed right on my bumper. If looks could kill, I certainly would not be writing this! We approached another stop light and I was wondering what he would do. I was waiting for him to race up to my car window and start yelling or worse. He stayed in his car.

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.