July 2, 2021
IPSTL Cabinet Statement on the Acts of Violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 7 and May 10, 2021 and Violence Done Within Sacred Spaces
Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis has always promoted religious freedom. We amplify the message from the Parliament of the World’s Religions, released following the May 7 and May 10 attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli police, which deplored “acts of violence done within sacred spaces or to people on the way to and from sacred spaces; whether al-Aqsa mosque, synagogue in Lod, or Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”
We pray for an end to violence, and a world in which all can practice their faith without fear. We acknowledge the deep pain and trauma suffered by Muslim community, including our Muslim neighbors in St. Louis, at seeing one of their holiest sites defiled by violence. The violence occurred during the final days of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, and Muslims worldwide consider the al-Aqsa mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven, to be the third holiest site in Islam.
It is IPSTL’s mission to nurture positive relations between diverse religious communities, and we believe our most impactful work is local. Conflicts throughout the world have the ability to wreak havoc on substantive interfaith work in St. Louis, fraying the bonds between neighbors who otherwise share mutual respect and common interests. We commit to continuing the real work of bridging divisions, finding unity across differences, and building a community where all can flourish together as neighbors and safely practice their religious beliefs.
The Interfaith Partnership Cabinet, founded and staffed by the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis, represents 34 religious communities of faith and conscience within the St. Louis area. It is led by Chair Maharat Rori Picker Neiss and Vice Chair Rev. Rodrick Burton.