By Laura Fawaz, TMO Contributing Reporter
|Imam Elahi addresses the crowd of attendees with his young son, Mohammed Hussein by his side.|
Dearborn Heights, MIâ€“Last Thursday evening at the Islamic House of Wisdom hosted an interfaith gathering, promoting peace and justice throughout the world, and ended with a community iftar.
Putting aside all intolerances, differences and violence in the name of religion around the world, people of all faiths sat and broke bread together at this unique setting. Many representatives from other Islamic Centers, Churches, Temples, and Synagogues, as well as numerous state representatives and other political officials were all there in attendance of such an inspiring event. Imam Sheik Mohammad Ali Elahi, Imam and founder of the Islamic House of Wisdom, discussed the roots of the violence going on over seas, and how they have no place in religion. â€œWhen there is ignorance it is easy to brain wash someone, and when someone is poor it is easy to hire them,â€ said Imam Elahi.
â€œYou might say that this is too much money, but we all know who is behind it: Saudi Arabia and our state department, Iâ€™m not shy to say that,â€ continued Imam Elahi.
He then referenced Sir Richard Dearlove, a government official within London who discussed ISIS, Al-Qadea, and all other such criminals as not happing by accident. The places they occupy are large territories such as Iraq and Syria. Being that this would take large funds to pull off, Sir Richard sites the main financial source as Saudi Arabia, and the main military source as the mossad, the Israeli army. Imam Elahi continued to describe the country of Saudi Arabia as one without democracy or human rights, especially for women. There, itâ€™s all about oil and money. â€œWhy do you think thatâ€™s the only country in the Arab world that has close ties with the West,â€ continued Imam Elahi.
Continuing with the theme of interfaith and tolerance, Imam Elahi quoted Ghani when speaking about social sin and what he defined as the seven sins: politics without principal, pleasure without conscience, wealth without work, worship without sacrifice, knowledge without character, science without humanity, and commerce without morality. He then discussed what we can learn from a few of the many great Prophets, such as Prophet Jesus (AS) who taught us love, and Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) who taught us wisdom. â€œBut there is a difference between Islam and some Muslims Jesus and some Christians, Moses and some Jews,â€ said Imam Elahi.
Then the Mayor of Dearborn Heights, Daniel S. Paletko said a few words on the event, but specifically to Imam Elahi, â€œIâ€™m so proud that you are in Dearborn Heights, and the example the Imam presents. I was looking in the paper, and youâ€™ve always brought people of different faiths together, and have spoken about peace and working together, and I think thatâ€™s an important message, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would hope that Dearborn Heights is always known as a community of peace for all people, no matter their religion, that we can all come together, and we can all be respectful of one another.â€
Following the mayor was Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano who discussed the fact that no faith can ever be defined by the extremist; rather by the people who practice it. He then led into Wayne County being the number one place outside of the middle east that hosts the highest amount of Muslims, â€œwere proud of that and we embrace that,â€ Executive Ficano said.
Giving his take on Ramadan, Executive Ficano said, â€œOne of the best ways that Iâ€™ve heard Ramadan described is as an individual and not how high they can reach for themselves while everybody is watching, itâ€™s how low they can reach to help someone when no one is looking, and I think thatâ€™s what your faith is all about, helping those left fortunate.â€
David Knezek, Michigan House of Representatives as spoke on the need of interfaith gatherings and dialogues such as this. He made a strong point of identifying our major religions, specifically, our different Abrahamic faiths. â€œYou would find that we have probably 90% of things in common, but we always allow 10% of things in some instances to divide us and tear us a part. So when you see ignorance and when you see hatred and when you see people who are unwilling to acknowledgeable our differences or to celebrate our diversity, I just challenge everybody to stand up and say something,â€ said Representative Knezek.