Peace, Forgiveness and
The Way Forward after the New Zealand Tragedy
Speakers • Refreshments • Dinner
Sunday, April 14 from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M.
Fiqh & Dawah Center of America, 819 23rd St., Watervliet NY 12189
All are welcome! Join together to discuss how we can find peace and forgiveness after New Zealand and other similar tragedies.
No charge • donations accepted • reservations suggested but not necessary.
Co-sponsored by the Fiqh & Dawah Center of America and the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia
Highlights of the Peace Vigil on Monday March 18 at Delmar’s Four Corners
Singing songs and creating a community “Peace Vase” of flowers to give as a gift to the Masjid As-Salam Mosque in Albany were among the highlights of Monday’s peace vigil at the Four Corners intersection in Delmar. The vigil was in support of the grieving Muslim community in the Capital Region and the people of New Zealand where fifty people were recently killed by a gunman alleged to be a white supremacist.
At the start, vigil participants dotted the street corners with colorful signs filled with messages of peace, solidarity, and resistance. Pedestrians chatted with the sign-holders and made the V-PEACE-SYMBOLwith their fingers as drivers honked, waved and gave a thumbs up as they drove by. Then the group sang “Look To the People” and “This Land Is Your Land” led by singer-songwriter Ruth Pelham, and stood in a circle of unity as each person placed a flower in the “peace vase” as they called out wishes of hope, friendship, and resilience for the Muslim community.
Next, vigil participants Lynne Jackson, Kathleen O’Connor and Ruth Pelham transported the vase of flowers to the Masjid As-Salam Mosque at 276 Central Avenue where several adults and children enthusiastically greeted them and took a break from their after-school studies to take photos and share thoughts of mutual appreciation and warmth. “We are very touched by your group’s gesture of friendship. The kindness expressed by these flowers means so very much,” said one of the teachers as he bid the three women goodbye.
Many thanks go to Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and the Capital District Coalition Against Islamaphobia who organized the March 18 vigil, and to all of the individuals who participated. A Peace Vigil is held each Monday from 5 - 6 PM at the Four Corners intersection in Delmar. For information, call Bethlehem Neighbors For Peace at 518 – 466 – 1192 or visit BethlehemNeighborsForPeace.org.
The two photos below are singing at the vigil and giving flowers at the Masjid As-Salam.
Event Held on Saturday, February 2, 2019
To Catch a Muslim - “The Sting’s the Thing”
followed by a
Panel Discussion with Tarik Shah and Shamshad Ahmad,
moderated by Kathy Manley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2019
Contact: Lynne Jackson, (518) 366-7324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-Islamophobia Group Will Sponsor Dinner, Play, Panel Discussion
On Saturday, February 2, the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia will present a staged reading of an original play based on the 2004–2006 Aref-Hossain “sting” case, followed by a panel discussion. The play, “To Catch a Muslim (The Sting’s the Thing),” written by Steve Downs, treats the Aref-Hossain case, the sting, the informant, and the trial's aftermath with irony and a little humor, and takes some potshots at the government's legal scheming to convict innocent men. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, 405 Washington Ave.
Preceding the play, dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
A panel discussion will follow the play at 8 p.m. Featured speakers are Tarik Shah and Dr. Shamshad Ahmad; the moderator is Kathy Manley, Esq. Discussion will focus on the impact of Islamophobia on families and community as shown through the Aref-Hossain case. Tarik Shah was ensnared in a similar sting operation in New York City. An internationally acclaimed jazz bassist, he now lives in Albany, and his case was featured as part of the 2015 documentary film (T)ERROR, which won an Emmy Award in 2017 for Outstanding Investigative Documentary. Dr. Shamshad Ahmad is a professor at the University at Albany and the president of Masjid As-Salam on Central Avenue, which was raided when Aref and Hossain were arrested. He is the author of Rounded Up: Artificial Terrorists and Muslim Entrapment After 9/11, the definitive account of the Aref-Hossain case. Kathy Manley is a criminal defense attorney who worked on Yassin Aref's appeals.
All events are free.
The Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia seeks to counter anti-Muslim hate speech, violence, and hostility. Founded in November 2015, the group includes members of several grassroots local groups that were already working to increase interfaith understanding and to end wars and military violence, racism, homophobia, economic injustice, mass incarceration, hate speech, racial and ethnic profiling, Islamophobia, and abuse of the law enforcement and judicial systems.