Bringing people together, Building bridges across sections of society, Promoting understanding between all faiths and cultures
With The Name of Allah, The Merciful ~
O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the desires (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. Al-Qur’an 4:135
And there is LIFE for you in the law of limited retaliation, O ye who are endowed with insight, in order that ye may RESTRAIN YOURSELVES. Al-Qur’an 2:179
Dear Respected Interfaith Guest Our theme for the Ramadan Interfaith Dinner 2024 was announced as
“UPHOLDING JUSTICE AND INSPIRING HOPE IN OUR COMMUNITIES”.
As you may not have known, the Qur’an strongly calls Believers to stand for justice and not to decline to do justice, regardless of sentimental ties that may induce turning a blind eye to injustice. As we know, in America justice is symbolized as a blindfolded person holding a set of scales that are evenly balanced. The Qur’an further promotes Limited Retaliation (only taking one eye for one eye) as a life-saving practice of Self-Restraint (the cultivation of Self-Restraint also being the end purpose of fasting in Ramadan according to the Qur’an).
It is painful to the Muslim community to witness the support given for the unrestrained savagery unleashed wholesale on the civilian population in Gaza as a supposed but grossly disproportionate “retaliation”. That pain is accompanied by the pain of having many whose family members have been displaced, injured or massacred in the ongoing “retaliation”. The killing of non-combatants is plainly a wrong and we empathize with the suffering on all sides of the current conflict, but as many of us have heard, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. And disproportionate retaliation is a further wrong, as we see it.
Given the above sensitivities and other strong sensitivities held by our invitees and congregations, we do not see any way to follow through with our announced Interfaith Dinner March 17. We are canceling that particular scheduled event for this particular year only. We look forward to our ongoing collective Memphis-area-wide interfaith cooperation and we will be sure to contact you for upcoming cooperative opportunities such as meal-packing, etc. And we hope that, when the time is right, we can gather together and break bread in the spirit of unity and compassion.
MEMPHIS FAITH LEADERS ISSUE STATEMENT CALLING FOR RECOMMITMENT TO PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF NON-VIOLENCE; INVITE COMMUNITY TO INTERFAITH SERVICE MONDAY TO AFFIRM COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
Pastor J. Lawrence Turner of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel to lead interfaith service Monday evening at Mississippi Boulevard
“In light of the persistent violence in our community and the tragic events of the past week, faith leaders across religious traditions are inviting our city to come together to pray, grieve and commit ourselves to the practice and principles of non-violence that defined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's response to hate. It will take time to heal the trauma Memphis has endured. It will also take work. We must recommit ourselves to Love Thy Neighbor and affirm our collective responsibility to work towards the Beloved Community. This requires us to embrace those beyond our tribe, race, faith tradition or socio-economic status as our neighbors. Regardless of your background, please join us for one hour of prayer and music as we lament our dark yesterday, hope for a brighter tomorrow and pledge to do the work of love.”
INTERFAITH SERVICE DETAILS:
Invitees: All Memphians
Date: Monday, September 12
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
70 North Bellevue Boulevard, Memphis
The Memphis Interfaith project started in 2007 as a dinner with the intention of bringing people of all faiths together to break bread. It has since continued as an annual dinner in the Islamic month of Ramadan with a series of themes addressed by distinguished speakers of diverse faiths. Additionally, Memphis Interfaith brings together interfaith volunteers to package meals that are shipped to areas of need in the Western hemisphere.
Mission & Vision
We are committed to bring all faiths together to foster respect and appreciation for the dignity and wholesome spirituality cultivated within diverse faith traditions and to promote compassion and understanding for all.
To be a volunteer service organization inspired by the best in Islamic values and effective in enabling the Greater Memphis community to appreciate the best in the values of all faith traditions.
Dear Interfaith friend,
We are excited to invite you to the 17th Annual Interfaith Dinner, a celebration of unity, diversity, and harmony, hosted by the Memphis Interfaith. Mark your calendar for this special event, as we come together to foster understanding, friendship, and shared values.
Date: March 17th, 2024
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Memphis Islamic Center
10299 Humphrey Rd, Cordova, TN 38018
Join us for an evening of meaningful conversations, delicious cuisine, and cultural exchange as we strengthen the bonds of community and promote interfaith understanding.
Formal invitations with further details will follow, but for now, please save the date and anticipate an inspiring gathering.
We look forward to your presence at this significant occasion, contributing to the spirit of unity and harmony that defines our community.