The Muslim Christian Coalition (MCC) concluded a successful inaugural dinner and fundraiser on Friday, May 1, introducing a movement of Muslims and Christians, along with people of other faiths, to defend Christians and religious minorities in the Arab world.
In alarm and deep concern for Arab Christians & other religious minorities under attack, and with a clear understanding that peace, justice and freedom are only possible in a culture of coexistence, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) has taken the initiative to bring together Christian and Muslim leaders to join their voices against the violence, discrimination and persecution in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Egypt and Syria. MCC is a campaign whereby Muslims and Christians work together to restore their historical coexistence and preserve the continuous presence of Christians, as well as other indigenous religious groups, in the Arab countries as an integral fiber in the fabric of Arab & Muslim civilization.
HCEF has been heavily active for years in building interfaith tolerance by challenging western stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and educating western Christians about moderate Muslims and the real Islam to distinguish faithful people of good will from extremists. MCC is the next big step in this effort. Learn more about the mission of MCC HERE.
The MCC Inaugural Dinner and Fundraiser dinner was hosted by the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, a member of MCC. Imam Mohamed Magid, the Executive Religious Director at ADAMS, and President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was the key note speaker at the event. In 2007 Imam Magid, and Sir RatebRabie, HCEF President/CEO and MCC Chairman,were both awarded the “Faith and Tolerance Award” from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)for “commitment and dedication to strengthening the bridges of understanding.”
Sir Rabie set the tone of event and made it clear that MCC, “is not about religion or politics, this is about the good of humanity, and coming together as brothers and sisters for peace and justice. It is only by working together that success and prosperity are possible.”
Imam Mohamed Magid said, “The Muslim community must stand up for Christians and minorities in the Middle East. Religious freedom is a top priority for us all.”
Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J. Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Human Development, Georgetown University,Co-Founder and Board member of HCEF, said,”Our joint witness is necessary to preserve those few communities who still reside in their home places, to obtain asylum for those who have fled to safety, and to begin to build a new, stronger culture of pluralism for the Middle East, where mutual support, inter-faith edification and the witness of prayer will build deep and lasting bonds for our two communities, in the decades to come. Guided by the spirit of God, let us strive together to rescue the oppressed and displaced, defend the rights of believers under threat, and secure a pluralist future for the Arab Middle East.”
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director of ISNA Interfaith and Government Office said, “”Our gift to the world as Muslims is not just raising money for those in need, but providing a model of tolerance, respect, and care for all people. We build upon the glorious tradition of the Holy Quran for human rights and religious freedom.”
Rev. David Renwick, Senior Pastor, The National Presbyterian Church, spoke at the dinner: “What we [Muslims and Christians] have in common tells us that it is not the force of arms, but the force of love — for God and neighbor — that is the greatest witness to God himself in a world of growing unbelief.”
Rev. Avelino Gonzalez, Director of the Office for Ecumenism and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, and Pastor, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, took to the stage, saying, “I applaud ADAMS for this powerful sign. This fundraiser for persecuted Christians in a mosque is a visible statement of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And so we must all stand together insolidarity against injustice everywhere. In the Holy Land, here in Virginia, in the U.S., and everywhere.”
Stephen Corbin, D.D.S., M.P.H., Former Special Olympics Senior Vice President of Community Impact and Support, Living Faith Lutheran Church Elder, gave an educational presentation on the presence of Christians, historical and present, in the Arab world.
Mr. Syed Moktadir, President of the ADAMS Center and Vice Chairman of MCC, next to take the stage, stated “The mission of the Coalition is not to build something new, but to revive history. Muslims have been called to care for their Christian brothers and sisters since t
Reem Shamoon,Iraqi Chaldean Christian, Student, Government and International Relations at George Mason University, speaking on her personal experience said, “As we come together tonight in peace and unity I pray that we can restore this peaceful coexistence in the land that boasts a mosaic of cultures and religions.”
Rizwan Jaka, Chair Board, ADAMS, and Board Member of ISNA, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the MCC Inaugural Dinner and Fundraiser, facilitating the interfaith event to support Christians and religious minorities in the Arab world.
The dinner and fundraiser proved to be an inspiring and encouraging event to begin the mission of MCC. From that night alone, the Coalition raised over $12,000 for the benefit of Christian Iraqi refugees in Jordan.
If you were not able to make it to the dinner and the fundraiser, it is not too late to donate. Please support Christians and other religious minorities in the Arab world. We must stand together, no matter our creed, to work against the unconscionable persecution of Arab Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East. Donate today!