A couple of Westchester interfaith notes for this coming Sunday (Oct. 3):
1. Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester in Chappaqua and the Upper Westchester Muslim Society, currently based in Thornwood, will meet at the mosque at 11:30 a.m. to pack relief boxes for victims of Pakistan’s terrible flooding.
They’re inviting neighbors to contribute goods — bed sheets, biscuit packs, fruit bars, powdered milk, nuts, soap, etc. — and to help with the packing.
The UWMS is located at 401 Clairmont Avenue in Thornwood.
2. Also Sunday, the American Muslim Women’s Association, a Westchester group, is holding an “interfaith movie night” from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Scarsdale library (no, it’s not really nighttime).
The movie is “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”
A panel discussion will include Rabbi Richard Jacobs of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, Rev. Carol Huston of Community Unitarian Church at White Plains and Dr. Mahjabeen Hassan of the American Muslim Women’s Association.
I’m on vacation for two weeks after today.
Will be back around around Aug. 23.
Just returned from a press conference beneath Westchester County’s 9/11 memorial at the Kensico Dam.
Two people who lost loved ones on 9/11 came out to oppose — you guessed it — the planned Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.
They were very emotional, as you might expect.
Liam McLaughlin, the former Yonkers City Council member who is running for state Senate, organized the presser.
I’ll also have an article on LoHud/Journal News in a few days (maybe Tuesday) about how suburban Muslims are reacting to the big Ground Zero debate.
They fear that opposition to the center is kind of morphing into general anti-Islamism. The Upper Westchester Muslim Society, which is planning to build its own Islamic Center in Ossining, is getting antsy about whether all the downtown rhetoric might move north.
One thing that’s becoming clear is that the Cordoba Initiative, the group seeking to build the downtown center, is doing a poor job of PR. Their leaders need to be out there, explaining who they are, what they’ve done and what they hope to do. They also need to get their many Christian and Jewish friends (and they have many) to speak out.
Right now, most New Yorkers probably don’t know the Cordoba Initiative from any other Muslim group.
That’s not going to cut it, it seems.