OK Interfaith Alliance president: Paris attacks 'crime against all of humanity'
Dr. Carl Rubenstein recently shared remarks at the memorial service and vigil held Tuesday afternoon at the Survivor Tree on the grounds of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
The downtown Oklahoma City event was co-sponsored by the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Holocaust Remembrance and Restitution Foundation Inc.
Rubenstein, a retired cardiologist and member of Temple B'nai Israel, shared the following statements:
It is significant that this is an interfaith event. We in Oklahoma, as elsewhere in this nation, are truly diverse in all our human descriptors. We can be proud of the interfaith understanding, respect, and cooperation that has developed here, sometimes in response to disaster or crisis, sometimes in response to conscious development of relationships between individuals and between organizations, sometimes in response to threats to a given minority.
What has occurred in Paris is not just a crime against Paris, nor just a mass murder of French people, it is a barbarous crime against all of humanity. Whether similar evil has occurred in Beirut, Lebanon recently, or in Ankara, Turkey, in other nations, or even here in 1995 in OKC, there is no religious justification, period. There is no religion that condones this evil, evil that sometimes deceptively masquerades as religion. The interfaith community uniformly condemns such heinous acts.
As pointed out in a statement yesterday from the National Office of Interfaith Alliance, "Free societies face the challenge of balancing civil rights with civil order." ... "The objective of any terrorist is to strike fear into the hearts of innocent citizens and provoke them into betraying their peaceful inclinations. Already we are seeing some public figures exploiting the understandable distress of Americans by calling for discriminatory policies against those fleeing terrorist oppression, --- promoting vigilantism in the guise of 'self-defense' and repeating slanderous generalizations about faith communities and nationalities. We must hold fast to our American values and not give in to the specious reasoning born of fear."
So why are we here today?
To grieve for those who died.
- Related to this story
- Video: Vigil for Paris and Beirut (2015-11-18)
To pray for the families of those who died or were injured, and at least say that our hearts are with them.
To pray for peace.
To affirm that we ALL share the resolve that these evil deeds need to be punished; that the evil people who planned and perpetrated this horrible massacre should be defeated and eliminated; that our nation needs to stand strongly with France and ALL nations to bring this radical, barbaric terrorism to an end.
To remind ourselves of our moral responsibility to the refugees, many or most of them women and children, who are fleeing dangerous and horrible conditions, and to remind ourselves of our responsibility to defend the civil rights and personal safety of our Muslim friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens, people who repeatedly over time have shown their dedication to our nation, our state, our communities, our human values.
We, of multiple faiths, multiple ethnic and racial backgrounds, multiple family histories of being immigrants or refugees, must stand together in mutual love and support.
Posted by Carla Hinton