CAIRO - Shocked by the loss of children in a deadly shooting in Connecticut, a umbrella Muslim organization in the North America is joining hands with Jewish and Christian faith leaders to continue their fight for laws to prevent gun violence in the United States.
We call on the thousands of mosques nationwide to have sermons on the issue of gun violence, asking their congregations to call on their representatives in Congress to bring about a solution to end gun violence in America, Imam Mohamed Magid, from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), said in a press release obtained by OnIslam.net.As religious communities, we are in the business of saving lives.
Calling for an inter-faith call against gun violence on February 4, ISNA joined other religious leaders to urge Senators and representatives to pass laws to prevent the phenomenon.
The call was urged following a shooting spree in December, which left 26 people, including 20 children aged 5 to 10 years old, dead when a heavily-armed gunman stormed into their school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Working with other religious leaders and interfaith groups, the Muslim group would join efforts to mobilize the American public to support the call for laws against gun violence.
As American Muslims, now is the time to join with others in the midst of our grief, inspired in our pursuit of justice, strengthened by our love for our nation and one another, and resolute in our faith, to put an end to gun violence, ISNA said.
The event was first suggested by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which has a history of bringing together unique coalitions of religious, moral and civic leaders in the pursuit of social justice.
On this issue of dire importance to the safety of all of our children and communities, the broadest array yet of faithful Americans is joining together in one chorus to call on Congress to pass sensible solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that has long plagued our country, said Rachel Laser, deputy director of the Religious Action Center.
The United States has experienced a number of mass shooting rampages last year, most recently in Oregon, where a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall, killing two people and then himself.
The deadliest came in July at a midnight screening of a Batman film in Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded 58.
In 2007, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech University in the deadliest act of criminal gun violence in US history.
Readying for the event, communities and congregations nationwide have been teaching, preaching and praying with families who have been affected by gun violence.
As people of faith, and as responsible citizens, we have a moral obligation to press our elected leaders to take concrete steps toward the prevention of gun violence, said Rev. Kathryn Lohre, Director, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
We may not fully agree on what those steps are, but we can certainly agree that the task ahead is nothing short of transforming the culture of violence in which we live for the sake of all of God's children, added Lohre, who is also President of the National Council of Churches.
The call found support among other religious groups, including the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition.
Hispanic evangelicals stand committed to joining other communities of faith in advancing an agenda that protects our children, communities and future, said its president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.
For at the end of the day, we understand that silence is not an option. Quenching the spirit of violence advances not the agenda of the donkey or the elephant but more importantly, it advances the agenda of the lamb.
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Evangelical Latino Coalition and pastor at Lamb's Church in New York City, agrees.
As evangelicals, we believe our Christian faith teaches us that we are called to honor all life, Salguero noted.Gun violence remains one of the most powerful challenges to a holistic life agenda in our nation.