Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (ICGC) Statement on Loss of Innocent Lives in Manhattan
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of New York City today.
We are devastated by this latest act of mass violence, this time in downtown Manhattan. New Yorkers are as strong as they come and we stand with our fellow Americans today in condemning this grotesque act of violence. Muslims in America stand firmly against any act of terrorism and the loss of innocent life.
While we await additional information on the attacker, it is imperative that media outlets curtail speculation and report responsibly and even-handedly. As Americans, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and we will not stand for violence against innocents, no matter what ideology feeds the attacker.
ICGC Calls for Unity in a Moment of Crisis
There are leaders who will weaken all of us by seeking to divide us. We know better. The events of Las Vegas and Charlottesville illustrate too well that violence is not owned by any one faith or political ideology - that it is a tool that the weak use to make themselves appear strong, and to assert power over a world in which they feel powerless.
We the people - and the leaders who guide us - have important choices to make: we can draw on our values and our strengths or give in to our fears. America has always been strongest when we stand up for our ideals and rally together. Those who would have Americans turn against one another or abandon our principles of free speech, free assembly, and freedom of religion are throwing away our greatest strength. That approach will not succeed, and we look back on the moments in our history when we abandoned our principles in shame, not pride.
What Can We Do in Cincinnati? Know Your Neighbor
Our members look to the Qur'an 49:13, which tells humankind that God has "created you all from a single man and a single woman and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another." The need for active dialogue will not go away anytime soon, and the Know Your Neighbor program, a nationwide coalition of faith- and community-based organizations, social justice campaigners, and civil rights activists, has committed itself to this task. The eighty-two members of the coalition, including the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, based across all fifty United States provide tools, educational programs, interfaith training, dialogue resources, and in-person opportunities to strengthen our social fabric by relating to each other in simple ways.