CAIRO – A leading American Muslim imam has delivered a special unprecedented sermon last Friday, after addressing more than 1000 people from different faiths at New England’s largest synagogue.
“We have to be able to take each other as brothers and sisters,” imam Suhaib Webb, imam of the biggest mosque in New England and guest speaker at Temple Israel’s annual Shabbat Tzedek (Sabbath of Justice), said in his sermon, The Boston Globe reported.
“We have to learn to forgive each other, and we have to learn to not believe the things we are told about each other before we sit and face each other, and get to know each other, and hug each other, and love each other, and cry together, and share together.”
Webb, the first imam to formally speak at Temple Israel, which was founded in 1854, was speaking during the event held to honor the life and vision of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The speech was anticipate to end past tensions between Muslims and Jews in Boston, promoting interfaith work between Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders over the past years.
Relations between the communities have been slightly affected in the last decade during the construction of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, which critics charged was backed by extremists.
“I look at this as an initial opportunity that opens the doors to further exploration, that points toward deeper understanding, trust, and relationship,” Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Temple Israel’s senior rabbi, told Boston Globe after the service.
Webb said the communities need to begin to build “a relationship based on, ‘Hey, I know these people.’ ”...The imam has a point there. "Hey, I know these people" works a whole lot better than, "Hey, I was a close, personal friend of the late Anwar Al-Awlaki and fundraised for cop-killer H. Rap Brown" or "Hey, I'm one of these Muslim Brotherhoodish people."