Rev. Leanne Tigert said she’s been engaged in interfaith initiatives for several years now, and reached out to the mosque’s leaders at the start of that journey. Tigert, an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, said the message she shares with others is “We are one.”
“The core of our beliefs is the same,” she said, referring to Christianity and Islam. “To love God and love your neighbor.”
In times of turmoil and uncertainty, that very basic message and shared ideal can be overlooked, she said.
“I think people today are really frightened about the decisions the government is making and that they are opposed to. Those decisions are against what we believe,” Tigert said.
Under Trump’s travel ban, people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia are currently not allowed to enter the United States, though federal judges in several states have issued orders blocking the order to varying degrees.
For many non-Muslim women who attended a prayer service at the mosque Friday, the latest immigration ban was at the forefront of their thoughts.
“I’m very frightened,” said Pat Wallace, who lives in Concord.
She said that the executive order gives permission for people to hate, and is a far cry from the fundamental notion that America is a country of immigrants.
“I feel that our Muslim neighbors need all the support we can give them,” she said.
Spencer agreed, saying that inaction is not an option. She and her husband both attended Friday’s service and, after, planned to join community members downtown for a “We Are a Nation of Immigrants” vigil outside the State House.
During the vigil, people held up signs that read “ban hate, not Muslims” and “room at the table for everyone.”
One of the first speakers, Eva Castillo of Manchester, immigrated to the United States from Venezuela roughly two decades ago, and like those who had gathered at the mosque earlier that day, spoke of the need for unity.
“Silence is not a choice anymore,” she told the crowd. “Keep supporting all of us, and keep getting upset.”
Source: Concord Monitor