Letter did not represent opinion of Sha’re Shalom
On Wednesday, Aug. 17, the Maryland Independent published a letter to the editor from Muhammad Ameen titled “Islam is indeed seeking peace.”
In his letter Mr. Ameen made a number of derogatory statements regarding Israel and the United States. He concluded the letter by mentioning my name and the name of my synagogue, Congregation Sha’are Shalom, regarding our work together on an interfaith group. The letter implied that Sha’are Shalom and I agree with and endorse the statements made in his letter. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sha’are Shalom enjoys a great diversity of opinion among its members, but as synagogue president, I am speaking for a large part of the congregation:
1) Neither I nor anyone else at our congregation approved of Mr. Ameen’s letter before publication; in fact, we did not even know he would mention us.
2) It is true that we were trying to get together an interfaith group.
3) We do not endorse nor agree with Mr. Ameen’s accusations regarding Israel and the U.S. In fact, we categorically disagree with them.
4) There are many reasons for unrest in the Middle East. Assigning total blame to one or two countries is not conducive to peace.
5) We are appalled by any hate speech that demonizes an entire population based on the actions of a few, such as the July 27 letter to the Independent that Mr. Ameen was responding to in his own letter.
6) We are ready to stand side by side with Muslims, and those of all faiths, in the face of bigotry and hatred.