We are very excited to welcome Salam Al-Marayati to our pulpit this Sunday. Al-Marayati is President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which has offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The Mission of MPAC is to improve public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims by engaging our government, media, and communities. Their vision states, “America is enriched by the vital contributions of American Muslims. We promote the Islamic and American values of mercy, justice, peace, human dignity, freedom, and equality for all.”
Such values remind me of Unitarian Universalism, often termed “the living tradition,” which draws from many sources – listed at the front of our hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition. One of those sources is “Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.” That would include Islam. The Unitarian part of UU relates to our traditional belief that there is only one God – this is something we have in common with Islam, whom they call Allah. Muslim means one who submits to the will of God. Ever since I became familiar with the theological tenets of Islam, my spiritual knowledge has gained in the qualities of humility, commitment, and sense of duty that Islam demands of its followers.
Salam Al-Marayati, whose interviews and articles have appeared in prominent newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and whose television appearances include Politically Incorrect, will be speaking this Sunday about “Ending the Endless War,” with a view into Quranic principles of peacemaking. He is referring of course to the latest travesties of terrorism in the Middle East and the “War on Terror” it propagates.
Because I’m a UU minister and have come to know and appreciate the peaceful and honorable religion Islam is, I am also interested in ending the endless war of distrust of Muslims in the United States, the vast majority of whom are moderate and productive members of society. Indeed, America IS enriched by the vital contributions of Muslims. As part of our liberal religious conviction to uphold and celebrate religious diversity and freedom, I encourage us all to learn about the true nature of Islam that American Muslims adhere to. This Sunday is a perfect opportunity.
See you in church!
Rev. Hannah Petrie