Voices are rising for peace in the most beautiful ways… and so out of the darkness comes the light.
Here is a more or less complete list of local activities in response to the “Dove who knows not how to Love” Quran burning. Please turn out as able & spread the word.
“O humankind! Surely We have created you from a single (pair of) male and female, and made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another (and so build mutuality and co-operative relationships, not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank, and breed enmities)…”
al-Hujurat – The Private Apartments, The Inner Apartments, The Chambers; verse 13
~ translation from Arabic to English by Ali Ünal ~
Dear Gainesville friends,
This will likely be the last e-mail you get from me regarding this ongoing situation. The week of September 11 is now upon us… Whether we attend any of the following events (listed below) or not, may we each think, pray/meditate (for those of us who do so), speak, write, live, lead, follow, and organize in ways that foster peace this week. And may we continue to stand (in our different ways) in solidarity with one another for the causes of justice, peace, unity, respect, learning, tolerance, and dignity. May we – through our individual small ways as well as our collective big ways – nurture an environment that makes it easier for us to think with open minds, to listen to and learn from one another, and to lead lifestyles that are just and wholesome.
Here are a list of events (related to our Muslim neighbors) happening around the Gainesville community in the upcoming month; everyone is welcome at all events:
Wednesday, September 8
Interfaith Prayer Service
@Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Friday, September 10
Throughout the day the Gainesville Muslim Initiative will be distributing “Eid goody bags” on UF’s campus; Eid is the biggest holiday of the year for Muslims; it is observed at the end of Ramadan.
A Gathering for Peace, Understanding, and Hope
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
@Trinity United Methodist Church, 4000 NW 53rd Avenue, on 53rd Avenue next to 43rd St.
Hosted by the Gainesville Interfaith Forum
The Trinity United Methodist Church along with the support of the Gainesville Interfaith Forum will be hosting a Gathering for Peace, Understanding, and Hope. We will have activities for children of our different faiths to play together, arts and educational crafts, cultural displays, foods from various regions of the world, and a time of prayer.
Saturday, September 11
Mayor Craig Lowe has declared this to be Interfaith Solidarity Day
Gainesville Muslim Initiative (GMI) hosts A Day of Peace & Unity
Beginning at 5:00 p.m., GMI will be serving dinner at the downtown Bo Diddley Plaza (as they do every Saturday). Gainesville community members will also have the opportunity to donate blood at the plaza during a blood drive at this time; there will also be a book drive and a food drive.
Around 7:30pm, GMI will host a program on the Bo-Diddley stage. Community and religious leaders from around the community, state, and nation will have the opportunity to speak here but should notify GMI prior to the event to help maximize coordination.
If you belong to an organization that would like to endorse the vigil and/or possibly speak at the vigil, please contact:
Around 8:45pm, after the speakers, the evening will culminate in a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence.
We hope to make this an annual event.
Direct Counter-Demonstration @ the Dove not-a-church (Eve MacMaster coined this term)
From 6:00 – 9:00pm, the Dove World Outreach plans to burn Qu’rans; some members (including the not-a-pastor) of the not-a-church will likely be armed.
Various UF and community organizations will coordinate a direct counter-demonstration (and will promote safety, nonviolence, & intelligent/peaceful behavior and will relay a message to the attending international media that the Dove not-a-church does not represent Gainesville’s views); members from the National Lawyers Guild will observe.
Please note: The Gainesville Muslim Initiative is urging people to ignore Dove rather than directly counter-demonstrate & thus feed the counter-productive media frenzy; the GMI will simultaneously be hosting the above family-friendly events (A Day of Peace and Unity) at the Bo Diddley downtown plaza in hopes of creating (1) a much larger & more news-worthy story and (2) an opportunity for people (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) to positively and constructively demonstrate together what we are rather than retaliate against what we are not.
Monday, September 13
@the Reitz Union’s Grand Ballroom
Join Islam on Campus for a discussion regarding the Holy Qur’an. The lecture and info session will be headed by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, a renowned scholar in North America. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a researcher and teacher of the Islamic sciences, specializing in Islamic Law.
Friday, September 17
Open House: “Know Your Muslim, Neighbors”
Hosted by the Gainesville Muslim Initiative
@the Hoda Center (SW 13th Street)
Beginning Saturday, September 18; continuing for 12 sessions on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month (excluding holidays)
Muslims and Christians in Conversation
10:00 – 11:30 am
@the Mennonite Meeting House; 1236 NW 18th Avenue, Gainesville
A Muslim and a Christian in Dialogue by Badru Kateregga and David Shenk will be the text for the discussions; for more information or to reserve a copy of the book, contact Eve MacMaster at email@example.com or 352.377.6577
Co-sponsored by the Beltram Peace Center and the Gainesville Interfaith Peace Coalition
Monday, September 27
Fast-a-Thon: A community fast ending in a free evening meal & speaker
@the O’Connell Center
Hosted by Islam on Campus
Date & Time TBA
Documentary: “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think”
@the Hippodrome State Theatre
Hosted by the Gainesville Muslim Initiative