We are deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy of July 28. Our hearts go out to the victims and families of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and to all those who are suffering.
Northwest Interfaith Community Outreach has roots in the painful event of 9/11. Jews, Christians and Muslims from various congregations felt the need to get together regularly and create interfaith programs in the Northwest to foster compassionate awareness of one another?s tradition and to participate collectively in programs of social justice and Earth-care.
Today, we fervently invoke the mercy and compassion of the one God we all worship to bless us with wisdom, courage and grace.
Today we re-dedicate ourselves to deepening our work by doubling and re-doubling our efforts to open hearts and join together in programs of justice and environmental care.
This is the best way we know of honoring the victims of this tragedy.
Rabbi Ted Falcon & Sufi Minister Jamal Rahman for NICO and our partners:
Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, Interfaith Community Church, University Congregational United Church of Christ, St. Patrick Catholic Church, American Muslim Society , Al Islam Center of Seattle , Islamic Educational Center of Seattle, Islamic School of Seattle, Rauschenbusch Center, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Leadership Institute of Seattle
It is with deep sorrow that we note the one dead and five injured people in the mindless act of cruelty by a hate-filled man. Our hearts go out in sympathy to the injured and to the families of victims.
We struggled for some time about whether a statement should be sent out or not, because we would like this to be recognized for the grievous crime that it is, rather than an event that calls for an explanation or apology by Muslims.
In the end, it was decided that we need to extend our sympathies and good will to those who were victimized by this crime because it would prevent misunderstandings between the faiths.
Muslims, Jews and Christians have been working long and hard in this area, to build relationships of respect and trust that have so far endured many tests.
We look forward to the future in which this test, too, shall be endured and people of the three Abrahamic faiths will have come closer in spite of this tragedy.
We would like to close with this hadith from the Prophet Mohammed:
?Those in whose hearts is no mercy for others will not attain the mercy of Allah.? (Bukhari and Muslim)
American Muslims of Puget Sound, Lynnwood
Friends: I am horrified and grieved by the violence directed toward the women at the Jewish Federation [Friday] afternoon. I, and Presbyterian Christians all over the Seattle area, stand in solidarity with you and condemn this brutal violence and the motives for it. I grieve and pray for the victims, their family, friends, and the larger community.
We stand with you in this hour of shock and dismay and commit to do everything we can to ensure that Seattle and the Seattle area is a place where Jews can live in complete security and not have to fear for your safety.
On behalf of Seattle Presbytery, may shalom be restored and strengthened in the wake of this senseless and unthinkable act. We join leaders everywhere who are praying for an end to senseless violence and pledge to help you in any way we can to recover from this tragedy and restore confidence in the safety and well-being of Jewish people in Seattle and around the world. Shalom.
Presbytery of Seattle
We are saddened and deeply disturbed by the attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on Friday afternoon. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the six innocent women who were victims of this hate crime.
This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call to the Jewish community and to all Americans. The accused, 31-year-old Naveed Afzal Haq, reportedly said, ?I?m a Muslim American and I am angry at Israel,? before he began his shooting spree, as though this justified his murderous rampage. Such violent racism has no place in American life.
Although Haq presumably acted alone, unfortunately his crime did not occur in a vacuum. The current Hezbollah war has inflamed passions, but over the past six years, increasingly inflammatory and frankly anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist views that demonize Jews have been allowed to grow unchecked.
Radical Islamist ideology is trumpeted in many American mosques. Fringe, anti-Semitic extremist groups are edging toward the mainstream, their views endorsed by errant professors from prestigious universities. Anti-Israel propaganda and campaigns have become commonplace on campuses and in mainline churches. The media, either out of ignorance or bias, fan the flames by misrepresenting the Arab-Israeli conflict and by feeding the image of Israel and Jews as powerful and diabolical. Such problems are even more acute in Europe where anti-Semitic crimes have skyrocketed over the past six years.
Haq is a product of these forces, which bear a disquieting resemblance to those that seized the world just over a half century ago. We cannot regress to a time when Jews are wantonly murdered because they are Jews and when such murders are justified by the canard that Jews or Israel are the source of evil in the world.
We call on all Americans to work energetically to reverse these dark forces. With this tragedy, the American Jewish Congress is even more firmly resolved to continue its work defending the civil rights of Americans of all religions, protecting Jews in America, Israel and around the world, and building bridges with Muslim reformers and moderate, progressive nations who want to see a better world.
Executive Director, American Jewish Congress, Pacific Northwest Chapter
Brit Tzedek v?Shalom stands united with our fellow Jews in grief and outrage after the shooting that took place Friday at the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, claiming one life and wounding five others. This act of violence and hatred struck the Jewish Federation as a symbol of all Jews. We put great value on our close personal and professional relationships with the staff of the Jewish Federation; their work is a pillar of our community?s continuity, strength and diversity.
Brit Tzedek wishes consolation, strength and healing to the individuals and families whose lives have been irrevocably changed by this tragedy. We join with our fellow Jews and with all others who stand with our community in refusing to allow an act of senseless violence to intimidate us or to determine the path we will walk together in the future.
We are proud of Seattle, a pluralistic city whose residents know one another across and beyond ethnic and religious boundaries and share a desire for a just and peaceful world. There are differences of opinion amongst us, but as our history as a strong Jewish community and city bears out, we are bound to one another by an overarching commitment to dialogue and cooperation.
We are grateful for the many expressions of support for our community and condemnation of this act of hatred and violence that have come from other faith and ethnic organizations and communities.
B?shalom ? in peace,
Rainer Waldman Adkins
Chairperson, Brit Tzedek v?Shalom Greater Seattle Chapter
The Palestine Solidarity Committee wishes to express its shock and sorrow for the vicious attack against members of the Jewish Federation. This attack was the action of an unbalanced individual, and we denounce this violent crime unequivocally.
Attacks based on ethnicity or religion do nothing but detract from work for equal rights, justice and freedom. Anyone who perpetrates such attacks works against all we stand for.
We sincerely hope that this act will not escalate ethnic tension in our city. We call on the citizens of Seattle to reflect on the need for tolerance and to work towards non-violent ways of resolving conflicts, both locally and globally.
Palestine Solidarity Committee
As an American-Muslim, I would like to express my solidarity with your organization in its right to speak out. I also would like express my deepest condolences, regret and anger at the loss of life you have recently suffered. We have already seen that violence begets more violence and today both innocent Arabs and Israelis are suffering. Though I vehemently disagree with your organization?s unilateral one-sidedness, I would like to say that today, I am an Israeli because your loss is my loss.
With heavy heart.