After 9/11: A rabbi, pastor, and imam join hands to oppose extremism
Brought together by 9/11, three friends – a rabbi, a pastor, and an imam – work together to find and appreciate the spiritual resources present in all of their faith traditions.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Most of us remember all too clearly exactly what we were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001. We remember because those hours changed us forever.
Along with the shock, the pain, the fear, and the grief, we remember an incredible outpouring of compassion. In our city of Seattle, as in so many other cities, people gathered spontaneously, creating monuments of flowers and cards. Each day, people came together to share and to comfort each other. And we remember the unprecedented international demonstrations of support, as sister monuments took shape in cities the world over. It appeared something deeply hopeful was being born.
But then we went to war, and bombs in Afghanistan silenced the voices urging dialogue to better understand what led to the attacks on us. In America, we found ourselves incredibly ignorant of the Muslim faith, but many of us suspected that the terrorists were not speaking the authentic teachings of Islam.
Soon after 9/11, we three a pastor, a rabbi, and an imam – began to work together in order to understand. Rabbi Ted called Imam Jamal to join him at Shabbat worship the week of 9/11, and the two have taught and worshipped together ever since. Pastor Don helped plan and hosted a program for the first anniversary of 9/11, after which the three of us met at least once a week through the years. We hosted a year-long weekly Interfaith Talk Radio show in Seattle, led two trips to the Middle East, and have done well over a hundred programs together in this country as well as in Israel-Palestine, Japan, and Canada.