Statement Read at June 22 Rally Muslim Rally at Lake Eola
The Interfaith Council of Central Florida extends its heartfelt condolences and expressions of deep concern to the American Muslim community at this time of intense sadness and distress.
Bereavement is always painful, whatever the circumstances. But when a vivacious youth such as Nabra Hassanen is brutally cut down in the prime of life, the anguish is multiplied many times over.
Add to this the distinct possibility that the alleged perpetrator was motivated by deep animosity toward Muslims in general, and a pall of fear settles over an entire religious community, compounding the already-present overwhelming sense of tragedy and loss.
Increasing the pain even further: This is happening at a time when Muslims around the world are seeking to free themselves from distractions so they can focus more fully on the spiritual blessings associated with Ramadan.
Granted such a context, it’s imperative that the various segments of the faith community denounce unflinchingly and with a united voice all forms of bigotry and violence. We must also speak out with intensity and clarity about our mutual belief that every human being—and every group of humans—must be treated with respect, dignity and justice.
May all in the Muslim community be assured of our solidarity with you at the this time of grief and mourning.
Written by James Coffin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. Read by a participant at the rally because Pastor Coffin couldn’t be present.