In the midst of the current alarming level of negative rhetoric and physical violence toward Muslims in America, there was a ray of hope in Irving, Texas this past weekend. Shoulder to Shoulder partnered with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Islamic Center of Irving to host an event entitled, “One Irving for Us All.” After several months of collaborative planning, over 120 faith leaders and individuals from 15 different Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and other local congregations gathered at the Islamic Center of Irving, a mosque that has been the target of much anti-Muslim vitriol in the past months.
Leaders from religious communities and civic organizations, as well as the Mayor Pro Tem of Irving, shared their own narratives of positive engagement across lines of difference. In addition, participants engaged in interactive discussions to increase their knowledge of each other’s faiths and communities. The program was unique in that it not only drew participants committed to supporting their Muslim neighbors, but it also attracted several curious individuals who initially expressed negative views of Islam and Muslims.
In the coming weeks and months, the Islamic Center of Irving and the participating congregations will continue to build on the positive energy emerging from the event. Shoulder to Shoulder is proud to be part of this ongoing effort.
Read coverage of this event in the Dallas Morning News (here and here), the Fort Worth Star-Telegram here, and a reflection from Walter Ruby in the Jewish Forward: A Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian Walk into a Texas Mosque…