Faith Communities And Government Unite To Dismantle Xenophobia

City Manager Stephanie Cutter receive the first Imam Maajid F.Ali Community Service Award.
City Manager Stephanie Cutter receive the first Imam Maajid F.Ali Community Service Award.

Masjid Jihad Inc located in Savannah GA under the leadership of Imam Ibrahim Abdul-Malik conducted a 2 day seminar entitled: Faith Communities and Government Unite to Dismantle Xenophobia. The event opened on Saturday October 22, 2016 at Savannah State University Student Union.

Attorney and community treasure Lester B. Johnson III, was the very gracious, funny and efficient moderator for both days.

Lynne T. Hill, a community activist took to the podium to define “Xenophobia” It comes for the Greek word xenos meaning strange; foreigner and phobia means irrational fear ;hatred.

So, Xenophobia is a deep seated fear of “the other”.

There were four faith communities represented: Rev. Stephens Williams First Presbyterian Church Cindy Beach,Fensel Savannah Zen Center for Buddhist Mediation. Rev. G. Lind Taylor- First Congregational Savannah Rev. Billy Hester -Asbury United Methodist Church.

Each church leader spoke to how they are dismantling Xenophobia within their perspective religions. This was interesting and informative, all the faiths agreed that xenophobic behaviors is against their doctrines.

US Attorney Edward J. Tarver of Department of Justice (DOJ) He reports directly to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He discussed the civil rights of all people. He said there are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, for them xenophobic attacks are up 75%

The most historic part of the seminar was witnessing former Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter receive the first Imam Maajid F.Ali Community Service Award.

Imam Maajid Faheem Ail died suddenly this year. He was the Imam at Masjid Jihad. Imam Maajid was an amazing man who dedicated his life to bring people together to create positive change. His beautifully strong wife Sakinah Ali has valiantly continued his conscience building legacy.

Day Two of the xenophobic workshop was questions and answers at Johnson High School Auditorium. The panel included Van Johnson, Savannah City Council Rabbi Robert Haas -Congregation Mickve Israel Rev. Alex Moreschi-St. Thomas Episcopal Imam Dr. Nasir Ahmadguest from Masjid An-Nur, Miami FL

The entire weekend was memorable The greater Savannah area is fortunate to have Imam Ibrahim Abdul-Malik as the new Imam at Masjid Jihad Inc. This event shows the entire community that the work of Imam Maajid F. Ali will continue under his capable leadership

TybeeMLK was represented at this event by Jan Elders and Julia Pearce

Julia Pearce, TybeeMLK Committee

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