Less than two weeks ago, a group of thirty Muslim and Jewish women came together for a shared conversation on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Through meaningful and powerful exchange in coming together as women of faith, we found that we share many more commonalities than we do differences. We left with a feeling of spirited sisterhood, renewed energy, and hope for making a difference moving forward.
With the tragic events at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, our work now seems more important than ever. However one identifies oneself, as Jewish, Muslim, black, white, transgender, queer or an intersection of multiple identities, we are all humans who are wounded by the fear generated by senseless acts of gun violence toward civilians that stems from the wretched reality of prejudice and malevolence in this country. We are deeply saddened that this horrific incident looms darkly over the celebrations planned for both Pride month and Ramadan.
Jewish and Muslim people are, not surprisingly, guided by many of the same values, including the shared Talmudic and Quranic teaching that for 'one who takes one life, it is as though that person has destroyed the universe, and an individual who saves one life, it is as though that person has saved the universe.’ We stand together as sisters of faith for sensible gun laws and an end to the rampant hatred and bigotry that so strongly contribute to this epidemic of gun violence.
Sheikha Tamara Gray, Founding Director, Rabata
Beth Gendler, Executive Director, NCJW Minnesota