Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reflections on the Interfaith Sanctuary, by Shakeel Syed

Shakeel Sayed is the Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. 

Salam Alaykum & Peace be on to you.
I was introduced to the Occupy LA encampment on Friday, the 7th of October when along with hundreds of interfaith leaders and advocates for justice, we marched lamenting the decade long death machine launched by our nation on Afghanistan. We marched from La Placita Church located in the El Pueblo Los Angeles (if you don't know about this part of history, see Dr. Google) to the City Hall and walked around it. The occupants of Occupy LA came out of their dwellings and some gave us thumbs up and few others marched with us. Few hours later, we shut down the Los Angeles street and engaged in civil disobedience and got ticketed for "unlawful assembly!"  
Today, just about a month later, on Wed Nov 9th, I had the privilege to walk into the Occupy LA community and be embraced by the enlightened citizens of our country, mostly Los Angelenos and some from other cities and states. We were a dozen interfaith leaders who gathered around the common and core principle of our respective faith traditions that "All Religions Believe in Justice." Our collective concern is simple - "how can we be silent when our country is being raped by the merchants of greed?"
An "Interfaith Sanctuary" is established which will be open to people of all faiths and conscience. We belong to no special interests and subscribe only to public interest and the common good.  
W.E.B. Du Bois was right. Our nation is producing a new form of despotism - a democratic despotism! Someone needs to change the course. Will you join us?

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