SHAFAQNA- All smiled for a photo to be sent as a message of protest to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and other governors who have threatened not to accept Syrian refugees in their states.
“We choose welcome over fear,” said Rev. Steve Runholt, the Warren Wilson pastor. “We choose to stand on the side of justice and peace, because as conscientious Christians and Muslims, these are bedrock values of our two faith traditions.
In an interfaith forum to help bridge gaps, the Warren Wilson congregation invited members of the Asheville Islamic Center to spark a discussion between local Christians and Muslims.
Runholt started with an interfaith liturgy. “Salaam Alaikum,” he intoned the Arabic salutation for “Peace be with you.”
“And also with you,” came the congregation’s traditional response. Imam Mohammed Taha, head of the Asheville Islamic Center since February noted that Islam is a religion of peace. He pointed to the common heritage between Christians, Jews and Muslim as “People of the Book.”
Taha strongly condemned ISIL and other extremist groups that are slaughtering and beheading Muslims and Christians, claiming to be acting in the name of Islam. “These people do not represent Islam. They do not represent Muslims.”
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