Hundreds Attend Interfaith Program At Masjid-E-Ali Mosque

2015 Ramadan Iftar10

Township Councilman Phil Kramer told the audience that those who attain leadership by “marketing hate” must be stopped.

Several hundred people attended the annual “Interfaith Dialoge and Iftar” July 12 at the Masjid-e-Ali mosque on Cedar Grove Lane.

The event is held near the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is marked by a period of fasting during the day. Iftar is the ending of that fasting with a community meal.

Guests who spoke at this year’s program included U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-12), state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17), Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, Township Councilman Phil Kramer (D-Ward 3), Rabbi Eli Garfinkel of Temple Beth El, the Rev. Sharon Culley of Somerset Presbyterian Church and Maulana Syed Sulaman Hasan of Chicago.

Also in attendance were Township Council members, school district representatives and representatives from various religious organizations in the region.

In welcoming everyone to the program, mosque president Iqbal Hussain Jafri said the mosque continues “to strive to maintain a harmonious relationship with our neighbors and other houses of worship in the area.”

Faith-based groups, Jafri said, must “unite and condemn all acts of crime against humanity” perpetrated by groups such as ISIS “or any hate-monger” which use religion to justify their actions.

“We’ll unite against all forms of oppression,” Jafri said.

“This is a beautiful gathering,” Hasan said, noting the diverse religions and cultures represented in the audience.

“It is my hope and my prayer that this type of gathering is something we will be able to witness in other parts of the world.”

Watson Coleman told the audience that “I know all of us are seeking to be better students of who God has for all of us to be.”

“”We together, as a community, share those things we find in common among us,” she said.

Noting that there are more than 50 houses of worship in Franklin, Danielsen said that “did not happen by accident.”

“That took teamwork” between township officials and the faith-based community, he said.

“I’m proud and humbled to be here tonight to listen and learn from all of you,” Danielsen said.

After noting that the United States’ founders determine that no one religion should be given pre-eminence over others, Kramer noted that “we see today across the world governments embracing one single religion or one single sect, and that has led to war,”

People must come together to stamp out all forms of oppression, Kramer said.

“We must take down the flag of oppression and reject those” who assume leadership roles “by marketing hate,” he said.

2015 Interfaith Service at Masjid-e-Ali Mosque



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