District Of Caliphate: Washington National Cathedral To Host Muslim Prayer Services Working With Terror Tied Groups
November 11, 2014
Washington National Cathedral, known for hosting presidential funerals and other major spiritual services, will for the first time host weekly Muslim prayer services this coming Friday.
The Cathedral, part of the Episcopal Church, has long held high-profile interfaith events, and some mosques hold services in synagogues or churches if they need overflow space. But organizers said Monday that they are seeking to make a statement by having Muslim leaders come and hold their own midday services in such a visible Christian church.
"We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries," said Rizwan Jaka, a spokesman with the prominent ADAMS mosque in Sterling, one of the co-sponsors of Friday's prayers. "Let this be a lesson to the world."
The services, which begin around 12:20 and are for invited guests only, came out of a relationship between the Cathedral's director of liturgy and the South African ambassador to the U.S., who is Muslim. The Rev. Gina Campbell and Ambassadaor Ebrahim Rasool worked together on a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela, Jaka said.
"This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations," Rasool said in a prepared statement. "This needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith."The event is co-sponsored by the Cathedral, Rasool and several Muslim spiritual and advocacy groups: ADAMS – whose full name is the All Dulles Area Muslim Society – the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Rasool will deliver the khutbah, or sermon, at the service, which will be held in a part of the massive Cathedral "with arches and limited iconography.. almost mosque-like," said a statement from the Cathedral….