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Charleston Congress of Religions
On September 8th I received a call from Barbara Vaughn of the Mayor’s office, City of Charleston, South Carolina asking if I was still involved in interfaith matters. I told her I was not. A young mother had emerged from the Jewish community upset with the scheduled Koran burning. She was fed up with all the hatred and negativity toward Muslims.
Krista Faurie had called Mayor Riley’s office demanding action. She wanted the Charleston Community to react to this religious abomination. Mayor Riley has been a proponent of interfaith activity along with local Imam Mohammed Idris. Imam Idris was close to internationally recognized Imam, the Late W. Deen Mohammed, may G-D be pleased with him and the two Imam’s became close to the Mayor giving him a more in depth understanding of the religion.
I felt the least I could do was to sent an E-mail out to those clergy I used to know.. Rev. Joe Darby of the Morris Brown AME church e-mailed that we need to build an organization to stand together as a community to respond to any such action. He agreed to join a movement of clergy to do that.
Rev Peter Lanzalotta, former head of the Unitarian Church e-mailed of Unity Church Minister Rev Ed Kosak’s Sept 11 interfaith program at James Island County Park with Imam Melman and the Central Mosque of Charleston. Rev Joe Darby’s idea was picked up by Rev Kosak and Rev Lanzollata who are forming an interfaith group.
In addition the Charleston Jewish Federation has developed an permanent Interfaith program with the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Communities. Dr. Carl Evans Professor Emeritus of the University of South Carolina, Bishop Herman Yoos of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, have launched Interfaith Partners a permanent Dialogue between clergy of all religions at this juncture Interfaith Partners is forming in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Presumably Greenville -Spartanburg. The Myrtle Beach group is being spearheaded by Lubavitch Rabbi Doron Aizenman. Rabbi Aizenman was born in Israel.
The Interfaith Partners Project, recently written about in the Muslim Journal, has attracted Imam’s from as far away as New Jersey and Chicago. The Chicago group is being organized by Rabbi Capers Funnye, a black Rabbi.
As a result of Krista’s letter and Rev Kosak’s event and the members of the Central Mosque several new initiatives are underway throughout the country to insure Unity and Interfaith Cooperation.
The next time someone wants to hijack a religion, burn a Koran, Torah, Bible, Hindu, or Buddhist Holy book there are a growing number of people in the local, state, and national community that will stand up against such nonsense. All because one young mom refused to sit buy and watch a Koran burned.