Take hate crimes seriously

By From page A12 | February 16, 2014

The Celebration of Abraham wants to thank all those who participated in this year’s reflections on “Loving Kindness” on Jan. 26 at the St. James Memorial Center. The evaluations reflected people’s enjoyment of the event, especially the table discussions, singing “Children of Abraham,” Rabbi Seth Castleman’s story and the annual ritual.

Many mentioned how informative the talks of Rabbi Greg Wolf (Bet Haverim), the Rev. Jim Kitchens (CA House) and Samina Sundas (founding executive director, American Muslim Voice Foundation) were. One of the highlights of the Celebration was designing our Loving Kindness T-shirts (go to www.celebrationofabraham.net to see the shirts.)

As in other years, the Davis community showed its generosity, this year donating $1,076 to the American Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan relief effort.

Unfortunately, two days after we in Davis convened to share and build bridges between Jews, Christians and Muslims, we were powerfully reminded of why we must continue this work. Vulgarities were spray-painted on the Islamic Center of Manteca. In addition to defacing the Islamic Center, pieces of raw bacon were strewn over the parking lot inside the front gate of the property.

The Islamic Center of Manteca also had been attacked just this past November. One of the tags spray-painted during the November violence stated: “No Allah, Only God.” Of course, Allah is Arabic for God.

We stand with the members of the Islamic Center of Manteca in urging the authorities to take these hate crimes seriously. The perpetrators of these acts are creating fear in the community when they terrorize one group. We believe that expressions of hate can be powerfully met with affirmations of solidarity such as the Celebration of Abraham.
Helen Roland


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