Jews and Muslims Working Together


 

http://www.upworthy.com/when-a-texas-mosque-burned-down-a-local-synagogue-took-in-the-congregation?c=upw1&u=715a9810b86ff88594d6c629760037c9997c314a

When a Victoria, Texas, mosque burned down under mysterious circumstances on early Jan. 28, 2017, members were distraught.

The fire, which collapsed the building, left the congregants of the Victoria Islamic Center without a place to worship.

That is, at least, until members of a local Jewish congregation showed up at a mosque founder’s house with a key to their synagogue.

“This is sad for everyone in the community and as Jews we especially have to feel for the Muslim community. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together,” Robert Loeb, the synagogue’s president, told Reuters.

Both communities are small — Victoria boasts a few dozen Jewish and about 100 Muslim residents — which synagogue officials said makes sticking together all the more important.

“Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them,” Loeb said.

Others in the community pitched in as well.

The Victoria Islamic Center, before the fire. Photo by Victoria Islamic Center/Facebook.

A few days after the fire, local high school students rallied in support of the mosque, praying and planting trees. Donations to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for rebuilding have exceeded $1 million.

After an election year that saw an increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents, Jewish and Muslim groups have been coming together to support one another.

Back in November, the Islamic Society of North America and the American Jewish Committee joined forces to create the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Committee, with the goal of combatting hateful speech and violence toward members of either faith and pushing for expanded rights for religious and ethnic minorities.

Meanwhile, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Bend the Arc Jewish Action have been leading protests and petitions against Donald Trump’s executive order barring travelers from Muslim nations from entering the United States.

While it’s still unclear whether the Texas mosque fire was an act of hate, the synagogue said it had plenty of space to welcome their neighbors.

When terrible things happen to those nearby, the least we can do is find that space in ourselves.

 

 

 

France


This is a very long two part post.

French National Anthem – “La Marseillaise” (FR/EN)

My blogging buddy K.B. who lives in Paris is safe, alive and well. He is grateful to all Americans for their prayers, encouragement and support.

I totally disagree with the hate towards France being spewed on Facebook!! Yes we all know that France was a Colonizer back in the 18th and 19th Centuries but the people alive today, the people maimed and killed in those horrible attacks have nothing to do with with what happened centuries ago. Yes we do need to learn and heed the lessons of the past. Colonialism and Slavery must continue to be taught in schools so we recognize wickedness and choose another path. On that note yesterday I left a group that I thought was about the positive because of the evil statements made against France. People who return hate for hate are little better than the oppressors.

Winston Churchill – We Shall Never Surrender (Full Speech)

Governments often make problems that make others suffer. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents went through racism and Jim Crow but they did not hate this nation, their country. As a Black woman I experience bias, racism and bigotry often but that does not give me the right to lump all white people in the same pot as an excuse to hate and spew venom. As a Christian I represent Jesus Christ so I can never do this. My spirit and soul do not allow me.

Love Train [Original 12″ Version] – The O’Jays (1972)

Many of those murdered in France and on the Russian airplane blast were innocent children. Hatred solves nothing. We cannot go back and change the past. Also keep in mind on 9/11 many French, European and other nations supported New Yorkers and Americans. Being Pro-Black does not give me the right to be anti-white or anti-European. Why? Because the Love of God and His compassion is in my heart. Most people of color have experienced bias and bigotry in some form but I refuse to deny aid, support or prayer to those in need. I pray for everyone. I’m still praying for the innocent Russian people killed in that airplane explosion. Hate is divisive. Please do not use this tragedy as an excuse to incite or fan the flames of hatred. I wholeheartedly and unashamedly support and stand with the people of France and victims of terrorism worldwide! Show Love to all.

‪#‎France‬‪ #‎Paris ‬‪#‎OneLove‬   #America

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I Rise Above hatred, bias, bigotry & racism.

I know what it is to be treated with the wide brush of stereotypes.
Working with the general public can be a challenge and if you’re a Black Woman wearing a uniform, a uniform that designates a form of authority more challenges come your way.

My Great, Great Grandfather William Henry Halstead left his life as a Free farmer and joined the Union Army for the benefit of his enslaved sisters and brothers and for his descendants unseen and yet unknown. But maybe he did know that Stephen and I would reap the benefits of his sacrifice. My Dad Edward G. Palmer left City College and joined the Air Force to fight for an America that did not even consider him a man but duty and honor came first. Thanks to the sacrifices and Love from my ancestors my generation of Black Americans became the first generation to benefit from the Civil Rights Movement. I’m carried on the shoulders of giants.

My Mother, Grandmothers and Aunts rose above the indignities of Jim Crow.

Sadly some look at me and see only color or gender. I’ve been approached by white males thinking that I’m a drug dealer or available for sex. Obviously I had to set them straight.  They needed to be firmly re-educated.

But I’m more than race, nationality or gender. Like most people on this earth Black, Brown, or white I’m a human being of complexity. That’s why I had to speak out against vile remarks being leveled at the French people. God created people. Humans created race & divisions.

I’ve come to think that the reason God placed me in the museum was to root out my preconceptions, illusions and delusions about people of other faiths.
Over the almost 8 years I’ve worked there the Ladies and Gentlemen I’m closest to are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu & Jewish. By being around and in close contact with co-workers outside of my faith I’ve learned a lot and mostly not to be judgmental. I’ve even visited their Houses of Worship and learned that these faiths are not so different from Christianity. If I had been born in Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, I would be a practitioner of that faith. We are all people who want the same things in life.

One God. Many Paths.

Earlier this year I spent two weeks in the hospital. The reason I’ll keep private but the person who visited me and took me home is Gay. Again another lesson of acceptance. Every time I’ve prayed for help God sent someone from another race, faith, gender, or sexual orientation to assist me.

I could lower myself to the level of bigots, haters, slanderers & spew a fountain of venom and vindictiveness but I choose not to. I choose if not to Love everyone but to at least to respect all people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. When I make mistakes or say the wrong thing I go back and apologize. Nobody is perfect but these errors in judgement provide me the opportunity to examine myself.

I’m sure as I make my way towards March 2018 and retirement God will have even more Life Lessons on my path towards Enlightenment.

Still Rising.