A decade has passed since terror struck America, and the shadow of 9/11 still haunts its’ people. It was an action that has nourished the term “Islamophobia”. Ever since, American Muslims and Muslims worldwide have been trying to defend their religion and show the world that Islam is anything but 9/11.
Interfaith dialogue was the counterattack on the 9/11 dilemma. People from far and beyond, from different religions and regions, came a long way to recognize one another and to enhance their understanding of each others’ faith.
Thousands of events are taking place all over the world today in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Muslims are in the forefront of such events, and a heavy burden lies upon their shoulders, for they must prove to the world that their religion “Islam” in itself means peace.
From fear of Islam to outreach: how 9/11 prompted interfaith efforts
After the deadly attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the first person Rabbi Ted Falcon called was his friend, Jamal Rahman, a Sufi imam. On the following Sabbath, the rabbi invited the imam to his Seattle synagogue to speak to the congregation.
Soon after, the two spiritual leaders, along with Pastor Don Mackenzie, commenced a series of frank conversations about their beliefs, both shared and exclusive. The talks eventually inspired a radio show, a pair of books, and worldwide speaking tours.
While all eyes are on lower Manhattan, nearly 200 people gathered more than 100 blocks north of Ground Zero on Friday night to honor 9/11 families and to recognize a decade of interfaith work at the Interchurch Center.
"Tonight we want to commemorate the event and we are going to honor 10 families who lost victims on 9/11. Five are Muslim, five are not Muslim, to show that we share the pain, we share the hope, we share the prayer," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
He hosted the event, In Good Faith: Stories of Hope and Resilience, along with the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and the Interchurch Center