In New York City, 75 faith leaders and activists rallied to remember Rohingya rights, with a mile long procession from the Islamic Cultural Center to houses of worship and then to the Myanmar (Burmese) Mission.The event was held on Friday afternoon August 24 to accommodate our Jewish partners.
Representing City Hall, Sarah Sayeed read a message of solidarity and support from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and a Twitter statement from NYC Council member Brad Lander was also shared thanks to Shahana Hanif. (statements attached)
Speakers at the 96th St. Mosque included Rohingya leader Mohiuddin Yusof, Hanadi Doleh of Interfaith Center of New York, Rabbi Michael Feinberg of the Labor Religion Coalition, Tariq Rahman from Islamic Circle of North America, Sister Aisha, Rosemarie Pace of Pax Christi, a spoken word poet working with the Strangers, Sister Maryrose of Church of the Advent Hope and Adem Carroll of Burma Task Force. A video link to this part of our event is here
Speakers at the Burmese Mission included Rabbi Simkha Weintraub of Jewish Alliance of Concern Over Burma, Jacquelyn Murekatete, a Rwandan Genocide survivor, Mr Joe Gindi of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), activist Marty Goodman, Mehnaz Afridi of Manhattan College's Holocaust Center, Susan Smith of the Community of Living Traditions, other Bangladeshi American leaders, and and Ibrahim Bechrouri, artist, performing the spoken word poem F(ea)tna. The procession was led by Salvator, a local drummer that kept up a compelling beat from the duration.
At the Mission there was a sign stating that the building was closed for the day, most likely because of our rally. And our delegation was unable to deliver a statement at the front door. However Mission staff were inside and came out to watch us.
Rally participants expressed interest in scheduling other rallies when summer holidays were over. New partnerships were formed and endorsers included Sponsored by Burma Task Force, JACOB: Jewish Alliance of Concern Over Burma*, and the Interfaith Center of NY. Endorsed by Saddha Buddhists for Peace; Sadhana Coalition of Progressive Hindus, World Rohingya Organization, Majlis Ash Shura Islamic Leadership Council of Metro NY, Social Justice Committee PJTF and UUJME of All Souls Unitarian Church, NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, Pax Christi Metro NY, The Holocaust, Genocide, & Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College, Civil Rights Movement for Burma, Manhattan Church of the Advent Hope Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Islamic Cultural Center of New York, Congregation Ansche Chesed, Congregation Beth Elohim, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Kane Street Synagogue, SAJ: Stand in Justice for All; The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit; Romemu; Flushing Interfaith Social Justice Committee/Flushing Amnesty International Group; South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship and Training ( SAFEST), Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, Green Touch, Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), SAJ: Judaism that Stands for All; Law on the Margins; T'ruah, the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; Kane Street Synagogue, and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC-NY).