Dover UCC to host conversation on the Muslim experience in America

Dover Congregational UCC will welcome Isam Zaiem to the Sacred Conversations series on Sunday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m. Isam is the Board President Emeritus of the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and will share with us how it is to be a Muslim in America these days.

A lot has happened since Isam joined the members of Dover last year in conversations about Abraham, our common religious father, and since we prayed with him in the Islamic Center mosque. Wars continue in the Middle East. ISEL continues its attacks on civilians in cities that used to be centers of civilization, some even mentioned in the Bible. The headlines have carried news of terrorist attacks in major European cities, the latest an attack in London.

Millions of people have fled the wars that surround them. Most are crowded like cattle into refugee camps. Many have braved the Mediterranean waters to cross into Europe creating political crises in France, England, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Italy, and even Germany. Too many have died seeking a better life. Britain voted to leave the European Union, additional nations are considering following the same path. The politics to close national borders has gained strength in Europe and now the United States.

Our president has made two attempts to close the doors to immigrants from six nations and to tighten our borders to several other nations, including Mexico, with the promise to build a wall to protect our southern border.

Mosques have been defaced and damaged by fire and bombs. Muslims have been denounced, attacked, even killed on the streets of America. Some "talking heads" have characterized Muslims as terrorists. A Maryland high school girl was forbidden to play with her basketball team during a district tournament because she wore a hijab. Imagine, if you can, fearing to attend church or temple on your Sabbath day, or having to establish 24/7 security to protect your church or synagogue, or fearing to wear a cross as a sign of your Christian faith. Imagine Christianity being named as a terrorist organization.

You are invited to join the Sacred Conversation at Dover to learn more and to show support for fellow citizens who are fellow descendants of Abraham. Dover Congregational UCC is located at 2239 Dover Center Road in Westlake. Any questions, please call Keith Stuart, Dover pastor, at 440-871-1050.

John Rinehart

John Rinehart

Minister of Justice, Dover Congregational UCC

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:23 AM, 04.04.2017