Queens is so diverse, there is nothing unusual about an imam giving a talk on “The Essence of Islam.” Unless it’s in a Synagogue, at a Holocaust memorial service, that is.
Rabbi Michael Weisser of the Free Synagogue of Flushing likes making the unusual commonplace, so he has invited his “friend and partner in interfaith outreach” Imam Shamsi [CQ] Ali to a special interfaith Yom HaShoah or Holocaust memorial observance.
Imam Ali is the leader of the Islamic Cultural Center in Manhattan, as well as mosques in Jamaica and Astoria. He is also a founding member of the Imams’ Council of New York.
He will be attending Sabbath evening services at the temple, at 41-60 Kissena Boulevard in downtown Flushing on Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m.
After speaking on the topic, the imam and rabbi will be available to engage “in a timely and topical interfaith dialogue.” The public is invited to attend.
“We are remembering the Holocaust by actively living the values that would have made it an impossibility,” said Rabbi Weisser, “Those of understanding, respect and tolerance toward all faiths.” (More)
The Free Synagogue is located at 41-60 Kissena Boulevard, between Sanford Avenue and Main Street. All are welcome. Free on-site parking is available. Please call 718-961-0030 or visit www.freesynagogue.org for more information.
BEHEADING SHINES LIGHT ON DOMESTIC ABUSE - TOP Aasiya Zubair Hassan died before help came. But other Muslim women in western New York may find refuge in local support. Erika Hayasaki, Los Angeles Times, 4/24/09
Reporting from Buffalo, N.Y. -- The mourners carried her severed body inside the white brick mosque on a frosty morning before the sun rose, before the children arrived for school.
Removing their shoes, wives and mothers shrouded in black passed through the women's prayer area, cordoned off from the men's with white drapes, and made their way to the washing room. Once inside, they slipped into sandals and, in observance of Islamic tradition, gently bathed her body on a bone-colored tile table the size of a casket to prepare it for burial.
From a distance, a woman named Samia, round-cheeked with thick eyebrows, who cooked meals at the mosque, watched the procession with horror in her heart.
Samia could not bring herself to enter the washing room or look at the victim, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, a woman she had known informally in life. She was too shaken to attend the funeral.
The two wives were connected by the close-knit Muslim community in western New York, including Buffalo, about 400 miles from New York City. But unbeknownst to each other, both shared a secret -- marriages stained by abuse.
Samia got help. Aasiya died before help came.
She was stabbed several times before being beheaded Feb. 12, inside a dull yellow warehouse that served as headquarters for the Muslim television station she founded with her husband, Muzzammil Hassan.
Muzzammil Hassan has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing, and last month pleaded not guilty.
Aasiya was 37 when she was killed -- the same age as Samia.
Early news reports, and gossip in the community, called it an "honor killing," a term that upset Muslims across the country for its implication that the abuse was tied to the couple's faith.