Religious leaders from across the Muslim community in Manchester sent a heartwarming letter to those who lost loved ones in the racially motivated attack against African Americans and Muslims on a train in Portland, Oregon.
Jeremy Christian, who frequently expressed racist and anti-LGBT sentiments on his Facebook page, stabbed three people in their necks on a train in Portland, killing two of them. The confrontation occurred after he was verbally abusing two African-Americans, one of whom was in traditional Muslim garb.
In the letter, the Manchester Muslims tell the victims’ families that “Your sons are our sons” and “Your brothers are our brothers.” The group is, of course, still dealing with its own issues surrounding the death of 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.
Today, the world needs people like your sons. Heroes from all backgrounds and faiths who stand up for love, unity, and the dignity of humankind. Heroes who prove that those who try to spread hate, evil, and division, will not win.
In a moment of extreme division, the Muslim leaders in Manchester decided to reach out to anyone affected by the stabbings of Taliesin Namkai-Meche (23), Rick Best (53), and Micah Fletcher (21) on a MAX train in Portland. Namkai-Meche and Best didn’t survive.
The letter continues:
Rick, Taliesin and Micah — your sons, brothers, and friends — have proven that very point through their actions, compassion and courage.
They were the embodiment of the best values of humanity.
Our hearts were already filled with sorrow and grief for the twenty-two innocent victims who died in our city, Manchester. Twenty-two lives taken by hatred and cowardice.
The pain for your loved ones adds a heavy weight to that grief.
This is exactly what I’d like to see more of: cooperation between communities. A friendly letter, a simple gesture from a group dealing with similar issues, might go a long way.
This group of religious leaders has shown us that, despite the fact that may they share a religion with the Manchester bomber, they do not condone his actions or similar acts of destruction. They are as appalled by the suicide bomber, and by similar killing sprees, as the rest of us.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Bonnie for the link)