Whenever there is a massacre involving Jewish (as at the Pittsburgh synagogue last fall) or Muslim (in New Zealand last month) worshipers, the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury will be sure to host a gathering protesting the acts and the hatred that fuels such acts.
Recently, the UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island, Catholic Charities and New York Board of Rabbis organized a gathering at the Islamic Center to protest the latest manifestation of Islamophobia. It called people of all faiths to “come together as a united community standing in rings of peace as our Muslim neighbors and friends attend their afternoon prayer service. As faith communities, we decry all acts of hatred and stand in solidarity with the Muslim faith communities in our midst.”
“I know the circumstances that bring us here are not good,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “But I just want to say that I’m here with a very simple message. And that is, ‘We are one.’ And when one part of the body is hurt, the whole body feels the pain. Your county government is here for you.”
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, “Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have no place in our town. And we are here today to stand together. But it just can’t be today. We need to stand together every day. To make sure that there is no room for message of hate and bigotry and prejudice.”
Bosworth concluded, “Helen Keller said, ‘Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.’ We are here today to say we are together, and together, we will do everything to stand up to this.”
Rabbi Jay Weinstein, spiritual leader of Congregation Simchat Halev in Syosset, held up a placard that read:
Your fear is our fear
Your pain is our pain
Your hurt is our hurt
Your tragedy is our tragedy
Your love is our love
We stand with you
We are all children of God
We embrace diversity
Together we are one
The rabbi is co-chair of the Interfaith Clergy Council of Syosset and Woodbury.