The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis stands with the community at large to continue to work towards racial justice, equity, and peace. The tragic death of George Floyd has brought masses out to make their voices heard, increase awareness about racism, and demand justice. We have made progress over the years, but much more needs to be done.
Reminders of the Confederacy with flags, statues etc. is hurtful to the Black community and will impede the road to recovery. These emblems have no place in our society. Recent protests regarding the statue of Louis (IX) the King has brought the painful history into the forefront. The Crusades led to massacre of Muslims; Jewish populace was persecuted and executed. The word “Crusade” brings back memories of one of the worst times among Christians and Muslims relationships. We understand the sentiments and pain of the ones seeking removal of the statue.
The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis is committed to work on interfaith relationships with honest dialogue, mutual respect, and collective service to the community. The faiths must strive to build relationships to prevent persecution of any faith. The removal of the statue will not erase the history, but our present-day collaboration can help us move forward.
We must continue to work on disparities in socio-economic status and health for minorities. We must stand for any persecuted group anywhere in the world. That’s what our country stands for.
Ghazala Hayat, Chair Public Affairs Committee
Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis
517 Weidman Road, BALLWIN, MO 63011
IFGSTL STATEMENT Re: Arson incident in Cape Girardeau, MO The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis strongly condemns the vicious act of arson against the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. On the first day of Ramadan (fasting), the most sacred month for Muslims; a malevolent person set fire to the building. Thankfully there was no loss of lives, but the whole property was declared a total loss. The building was also home to few families, who have lost everything in this fire. The law enforcement agencies, including FBI, are investigating this crime. The FBI has also announced a reward for the arrest of the perpetrator. We are awaiting the details anxiously and hoping that law enforcement officers can apprehend the criminal soon. These acts of violence increase anxiety among Muslims; not knowing if it is due to Islamophobia. We urge congregants in Missouri as well as our country at large, not to panic but be vigilant. We fervently hope that in this sacred month, these hard times of pandemic are not made worse by crimes against fellow Muslim Americans. We appreciate much the words of support from other faith groups. We also encourage supporting the families who have lost everything in this tragedy. Together we can help each other to rise again in any adversity. Ghazala Hayat, Chair, Public Affairs Committee Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis ##