Unity Walk - 911

Transcript Details

Event Name: Unity Walk - 911
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 6/9/2019
Transcript Version: 1

Transcript Text

we begin in the name of God will some

say this mean alright man or writing the

merciful and the compassionate it's

related also to a Jewish root word

brahim and it comes from wound the the

Arabic word for womb is RAM and so man

is a name of God which means the

merciful Rahim is the compassionate and

there is a saying in our tradition that

God has derived the womb the run from

his name a right man from his name the

merciful and in the Quran it says that

illaha illa de ser una v1r ham you

should guard yourselves against any evil

through God by also protecting your

kinship bonds the bonds of the womb the

our ham and one of the things that is

very important for us to constantly

remember is that we are been to add and

wahewa we are the children of two

parents even our material sciences now

acknowledge that we came from two

original humans I mean this is something

you don't have to be a religious person

to believe this anymore it's not

mythology it's actually what our science

tells us that we come from two people

that we are one family that we are a

human family now families always argue

and fight that's part of being in a

family and then we have the uncle that

nobody wants to come to the holiday

that's also part of being in the family

so families are problematic but they are

our families and to deny those elements

within our families is to deny reality

it's to deny something that we all know

so it's important that we remember on

this day we're coming together as a

family as a human family


9 911 911 has been likened to Pearl

Harbor for many Americans my father when

Pearl Harbor happened was still in high

school but at the age of 70 he was here

in rockville maryland at georgetown

preparatory school at the age of 17 he

got his mother's permission his father

had already died to sign up in his

senior year of high school he left high

school to join the military and was

actually given his high school diploma

as a deferred diploma that was the type

of sentiment that happened in the United

States at that time we had people like

Pat Tillman somebody who was an

extraordinary football player who left

an incredible career with millions of

dollars to go overseas believing in it

Pat became very disillusioned I don't

know if people are aware of that but he

came very disillusioned about what was

going on one of the things that happened

in 911 we had an extraordinary

opportunity we had the entire world with

us people were saying god bless america

in france we had the whole world with us

we had an extraordinary opportunity it

was an immense opportunity what happened

afterwards yesterday there was a program

called one day of destruction a decade

of war we have been now for 10 years in

wars there are over a million Iraqis

dead there are countless civilians will

never know their names we have the names

of our victims on on stone we won't know

the names of the Afghani victims we

won't know the names of the Iraqi

victims that there won't be memorials to

those people we have to really think

about where we're going as a country and

and the type of country we want to be

this country to me is it is my home it's

been the home of my ancestors for on my

mother's side on one side for over 200

years on my father's side in 1838 my

great-great grand

there Michael Oh Hanson came to

Philadelphia from Ireland seeking a new

world a better place getting out of the

poverty and the tribulations of Ireland

that was about to face its greatest

crisis with the potato famine I may be

the English where its greatest crises

but the the potato famine happened and

many millions of Irish began began to

come to these shores they were Catholics

the greeting that my grandfather got in

Philadelphia was the kensington riots

when Protestant Americans went and burnt

down Catholic churches scores of Irish

Catholics were killed and it was because

somebody had spread a rumor that the

Catholics wanted to replace the

Protestant Bible that was being taught

in the public schools with the Catholic

Bible this is what started the riot but

as abrahamic people we believe that good

comes out of evil that actually

transformed America because Americans

were so distraught at the fact that

people went and burnt down these

churches that they actually began to

transform the psyche and Philadelphia

actually within 10 years after those

events was a very different City because

they recognize that something had to

change these are the two ways that

people can go they can go the way of

hate they can go the way of more

factionalism more provincialism or they

can go the way of reaching out reaching

out to the other when what's

extraordinary for me about being in a

synagogue today is that the Jewish

American community and the

african-american community have done

more to transform the mental landscape

of this country than any other two

communities as far as I'm concerned we

are a more tolerant country today

because of the Jews that went down and

some of them got their heads bashed in

in the south when they went down to do

voter registration when they allied with

the african-american community and you

can read this in the history of the

n-double-a-cp and look at the unity

because the Jewish community knew that

their fate was tied with the African

American community they would not be

accepted as long as there was one group

that was not accepted they would not be

accepted and that's why they fought for

social justice in this country and that

fight continues today it continues today

what kind of America do we want do we

want to diverse America where we can

actually live up to the ideals that

might have been at the time that they

were written down that all men are

created equal they might have been not

fully understood or not even fully

implied but they were there from the

start in this country and that's the

power of this country the ideals from

the very inception of America were

powerful ideals that still resonate in

the hearts not just of Americans but of

people all over the world and we forget

the obligation that we have to live up

to our Creed in this country our Civic

Creed not a religious Creed a civic

creed that says that this is an open

space for all peoples this is an open

space for the black man the black woman

the white man the white woman japanese

chinese Hindus Buddhists Jains seeks

this is what this is what America was

about from the very inception this is

what it was about Thomas Jefferson right

down the road wrote that he wanted to

see an America that was open for the Jew

the Christian the Gentile the mohammedan

the Hindu he mentioned Mohammedans and

Hindus 200 years ago and atheists even

atheists yes part of the family

this this is this is our opportunity

this anniversary should remind us of

what went wrong some things went wrong

but what we need to continue to set

right that's what we're about as

Americans the thing I love most about

going to a bookstore is the self-help

section is the biggest section because

Americans know we're screwed up we know

it but we want to get better we want to

get better and that's why that's why the

self-help industry is the biggest

industry in in in the publishing

business because we do want to get

better but we have to know what makes us

ill and just in conclusion those people

that struck those towers on sep tember

11th in their misguided minds they felt

that they were doing something that was

justifiable they justified it in their

minds the man who recently in Oslo who

recently killed those people in his mind

he felt that he was doing something

justified there are people in Palestine

in Israel that do think heinous things

thinking in their minds that these are

justified these are happening all over

the world justice is nothing if it is

not tempered with mercy this is the

essential truth and our religions all of

them teach this to the quality of Mercy

is not strained it droppeth as a gentle

rain from heaven upon the place upon

that place it blesses him that gives and

him that takes that that is what mercy

is it blesses him that gives that him

that takes it's above the scepter throne

of kings it's it's something that

resides in the hearts of people what we

need to do is elicit more mercy to reach

out to each other the Jews the Muslims

we have a shared destiny as a people

when the Jews were threatened by

extinction in andalusia it was the


and the Ottomans that said come come to

us and the Jews in Morocco to this day

they acknowledge that even the Jews and

diasporic for Morocco acknowledged that

the Jews in Muslim countries have always

known that it was the Muslims that gave

them Haven when they were being

persecuted and of all communities I call

on the Jewish community to rise up to

the truths of your religion and to

recognize this type of fascistic thought

wherever it comes from whether it's from

the people that hate Islam or the haters

within Islam to recognize it for what it

is we need to come together in

solidarity and and I believe that we can

do it in chawla and this is a sign thank