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Atlanta's Interfaith Leaders: We Refuse To Be Enemies

Atlanta's Interfaith Leaders: We Refuse To Be Enemies

Author Saud Inam by

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We refuse to be enemies. That was the message delivered when the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, BRIDGE Interfaith Alliance, the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, and The Temple hosted an interfaith event in Atlanta Sunday afternoon. Titled "We Refuse to Be Enemies: Abarahamic Faiths Interfaith Rally for Peace," the event was attended by over 100 community members from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian communities in Atlanta. 

The event included short speeches by Rev. Corey Brown (Protestant Minister & Founder of BRIDGE Interfaith Ministries), Audrey Galex (Program Content Manager, AIB Network), Soumaya Khalifa (Executive Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau), and Rabbi David Spinrad (Rabbi, The Temple). The event also included performances by Dania Ibrahim and Hannah Zale. 

Rev. Corey Brown mentioned the importance of all faith communities to come together and "must remove obstacles to love." He also mentioned the importance of faith communities addressing issues affecting all faith communities, including police brutality against African Americans, and called for faith communities to demand accountability for police officers who do kill innocent African Americans in their custody. 

Soumaya Khalifa opened her speech by mentioning a personal anecdote about how she had felt afraid after the San Bernardino shooting until a stranger at a coffee shop simply smiled. That simple, she said, gave her hope, comfort and strength.

She called for attendees to get to know two people different than their faith background. She also mentioned that the faith communities "have more in common than they have [in] differences" and further reemphasized the importance of building meaningful connections with people who are of other faiths. 

Rabbi David Spinrad spoke of the importance of faith communities challenging hate and dangerous interpretations of their holy texts. He mentioned that "fundamentalism is in each of our faith communities" and that we must do our best to speak out against dangerous and divisive interpretations of holy texts within our faiths. He further emphasized faith communities working together to build positive relationships based on common values. 

Saud Inam is a Muslim American activist, social entrepreneur, blogger and Project Manager for Discover Islam-USA a Muslim American media company dedicated to producing high quality media about Islam and Muslims. He is always on the lookout for more opportunities to help empower the Muslim American community.


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