Let­ter did not rep­re­sent opin­ion of Sha’re Shalom

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Ge­orge Gazarek, Wal­dorf The writer is the pres­i­dent of Con­gre­ga­tion Sha’are 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.