Asalaamu aliakum, Shalom Aleichem, Peace be to you friends.
I realize that this letter is just a drop in the bucket, and I am not a leader of any Islamic institution, but please accept it as an “olive branch” extended to you from a Muslim who loves and has been active in the Islamic community.
As a Muslim who believes in the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), I would like to express gratitude to our Christian, Jewish and other friends who have come in support of people from my faith in a time when tensions are at their highest across the world.
First let me say that in my years of advocating for Islam in religious forums, political events and educational talks, if I have ever said anything to offend you, please accept my sincerest apology.
If there is one thing that has been made clear to me, it is how incredibly important it is to support each other as people of faith. We may not always agree on the particulars of religion, domestic or international politics or social issues, but as people of faith, we have a common goal to practice our faiths and live side by side in peace, security and with liberty.
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to those Jews who have helped Muslims who have been attacked or have tried to set the record straight by defending us from the vitriol of social media and society in general. I have worked with Jews in the past to created anti-hate crime diversity training for law enforcement agencies after the tragedy of 9/11 and still you continue to amaze me with your support. You are truly representatives of the Judaism I learned about in the Synagogue years ago.
To those Christians who have defended us, advocated for our religious rights, helped us, taken in refugees and the like, you too I offer my sincerest gratitude. Though I am a former Christian, you are truly a witness for your religion and show the best parts of Christianity that for many years I had hoped to see.
In this climate of fear created by atrocities from Al Qaida, Da’eesh and individuals that are their agents or wannabe jihadi warriors, you have shown us respect and that counts for everything. Respect is to treat someone with value and you have not only my gratitude but tremendous respect.
Whether you are from a faith other than the ones I mentioned, atheist or just not particularly religious, my gratitude and respect goes out to you too. I have Hindu, Buddhist and Atheist friends in mind at the moment.
We are all affected by terrorism and terrorism exists among extreme elements of all of our faiths but does not represent us. Let’s continue to stand strong against violence as a means to solve our problems. In my opinion, this is the future of humanity at stake.
It is my hope that one day the extreme elements on all of our sides will come to the center and we can act with one voice for non-vitriolic and non-violent solutions to our social and political issues. I also have hope in those of us already at or near the center to continue to work together to solve these problems.
Thank you for your efforts to bring each other together in this difficult time!
May Allah, HaShem, God bless all of you who act in kindness and righteousness.