Halton’s Interfaith Council stands united in peace in light of the recent terror attacks

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Halton’s Interfaith Council stands united in peace in light of the recent terror attacks

About the Author

Stephen Wise

Stephen Wise

Rabbi Wise has focused much of his rabbinate in striving passionately to connect Jews of all ages to their Judaism. Whether its through prayer services, learning or social action, each presents a gateway to stronger Jewish identity. Rabbi Wise has worked recently developing programming for young adults in their 20-30's, starting ongoing successful groups in NYC and Florida, reigniting their connections to Judaism. Rabbi Wise is the spiritual leader for Oakville's Jewish community, and his congregation is Shaarei Beth-El on Morrison Road.

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The Interfaith Council of Halton represents all the different faiths in our region, and as a group we condemn the heartless attacks against innocent victims, both in Lebanon and Paris last week.

We formed as a group following the 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York in order to come together to show our solidarity in the face of chaos and confusion. We sought ways to learn and teach each other and the community about how our faiths have commonalities and how we stand together. Today we once again pledge to face hate with love, to face violence with peace, to face fracture with unity.

Our faith communities here in the Halton Region are shocked and saddened by the terrible terrorist attacks, that do represent any faith, certainly not Islam which condemns all violence and all acts of hatred.

In a broken world its challenging to find the light out of the darkness. We fear not only for the deep heartache for the victims and their families, but the accompanying backlash. Will people be more fearful of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada? Will ordinary peace loving Muslims be targeted and lumped together with these criminals, as we have already seen with the fire at the mosque in Peterborough? With the Paris theatre that was attacked having formerly been owned by Jews, will there be a backlash against Jewish institutions? What of other attacks against religious institutions such as the Hindu Temple in Kitchener?

We are Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists. We share common values of justice, faith and peace. We celebrate our diversity and honour our uniqueness. We will not let these attacks, nor hate, nor injustice, nor racism, nor stereotypes prevent us from maintaining our unity and strength. May we soon find a day when we will not read of violence and horror, but of togetherness and harmony.

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