Jewish Voice for Peace Central Ohio was saddened to learn of the recent vandalism of the Ahlul Bayt Society Islamic Center on Dublin-Granville Road. Surveillance cameras at the mosque caught the perpetrator writing anti-Muslim messages on the front glass doors of the mosque after morning prayer on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The case has been referred to local law enforcement, who will investigate this as a possible hate crime. This mosque is a center of prayer for fellow Ohioans, and as such deserves to be treated with care and respect.
This act does not represent the values and ideals of our community. We stand in solidarity with all those who are targeted by such hateful behavior and all who are made to feel insecure by the ignorance that produces it. We believe that security, strength, and understanding is fostered and sustained when the community stands up in dark times and vocally opposes the normalization of such events. The Jewish tradition teaches that we take ownership over the character of our community and advance tikkun olam (or repair of the world) by exchanging hate for love.
Muslim and Jewish communities in the United States have experienced increased insecurity and marginalization since the election of President Trump, whose public remarks embolden Islamophobic and anti-Semitic actions. We call upon our political leaders and fellow community members to unconditionally denounce such religious bigotry and reaffirm basic American values and human rights, especially freedom from religious persecution and respect for the inherent dignity of all persons. “The Columbus City Council resolution against Islamophobia late last year and the recent decision by Mayor Ginther to declare Columbus a sanctuary city reflect our community’s values and mainstream public opinion,” says JVP member Amy Shuster. “Such acts of vandalism and hate cannot be allowed to overshadow the loving kindness that members of our community express to each other every day--from casual exchanges while commuting on the bus to more sustained relationships at work.”
Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.