CAIR_Vigil1_12-04-15

CAIR Holds Vigil Against Gun Violence at Silver Spring Mosque (PHOTOS)

CAIR_Vigil1_12-04-15Faith leaders and local residents gathered at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring for a candlelight vigil against gun violence on Friday.

In light of the recent tragic shootings in San Bernardino, California, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) partnered with various faith leaders from Maryland to remember the victims and condemn acts of violence.

“As we struggle to make sense of something that defies reason or logic let us work together towards a solution to prevent another single life lost to gun violence,” said Zainab Chaudry, CAIR Maryland outreach manager.

During the candlelight vigil 14 candles were lit in honor of the victims of the San Bernardino shooting. There was also a moment of silence and a prayer for victims of mass shootings and their families.

CAIR_Vigil3_12-04-15.JPG“The one message I want to give to my fellow residents is that of the 100,000 Muslims of Montgomery County all 100,000 of us are mourning tonight alongside them for the terrible attacks in California,” said Hamza Khan, president of the Muslim Democratic Club of Montgomery.

The event also served as a way for local interfaith leaders and members of the community to speak out against stereotypes to prevent backlash against Muslims.

“I just feel very strongly that it’s a really excellent time to show both solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said David Strauss, member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, “and also to show support for gun control, which I think is desperately needed.”

Faith leaders highlighted the need to address the bigger issue of violence and not blame specific groups.

“This is not a Muslim problem, this is a problem of violence, which has to be taken very seriously,” said Rev. Mansfield Kaseman, interfaith community liaison for Montgomery County. “It’s a situation where all of us need to be a part of the solution,” he said.

Rev. Terri Murphy of the Episcopal Church of Ascension in Silver Spring says that are many ways residents in the County can take part in becoming a part of a solution. “I think the people in the County can get to know their neighbors,” she said.  “Get to know other faith traditions, walk into a mosque, knock on the door, walk into a synagogue, walk into a church, and get to know people,” said Murphy.

To find out more about CAIR you can visit their website. For more information about County interfaith information visit the Montgomery County Faith Community Advisory Council site.

Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.

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