Last Friday evening I joined with eight others from UUCV to accept an invitation to visit a local Mosque in Mechanicsburg. I will admit to being a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. However, my nervousness disappeared as soon as we arrived because we received a warm welcome as soon as we got out of the car.
We had the opportunity to share a wonderful expansive meal and participate in conversation with a community who most of us knew nothing about as they celebrated breaking fast during Ramadan. We met individuals with many different ethnic backgrounds and interesting stories. Some told of how they immigrated to the US following wars in their homeland. I cannot imagine.
Before dinner we were invited to participate in their prayers. I admit that I did not understand what they were saying or doing, but it was interesting to share their holy space and witness their devotion.
The biggest take away I had from the evening was something one woman said to me, ”Terrorism in not a religion.” “We are humans just like you.” Hearing her say that really hit me. I cannot imagine what Muslims in this country must be feeling/thinking when they are being put into a box and labeled just because of their religion.
Over the past couple of months, the UUCV Social Justice Committee has talked about inviting local Muslims to “our house” to share a meal. We mentioned that to some of the individuals we met on Friday night, and they were very receptive. So…the SJC will be forming a small group to work on making this happen. We hope you will join us.