Taking It To the Streets to Express Solidarity With Each Other
Washington, DC – In the face of escalating sectarian violence around the world and increasing expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across the U.S., Muslims and Jews will ride together around the DC region on Thursday, November 5 to spread the word: We Refuse to be Enemies.
The 2nd Annual Spread Hummus Not Hate bus tour –a joint venture of the New York-based nonprofit, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum – will deliver a hopeful message to Washingtonians: despite conflicts elsewhere in the world, Jews and Muslims in Greater Washington are committed to connecting with each other and working together for the good of both communities and the Greater Washington community in which we live side-by-side.
During stops at universities, synagogues, mosques and public squares around greater Washington, the 15 Muslim and Jewish activists participating in the day-long bus tour will sing peace songs, and share pita and hummus with people they meet along the route while encouraging them to sign a pledge to confront bigotry wherever they hear it. They will also urge Washingtonians to tweet presidential candidates and prominent public figures asking them not to use hateful language against members of any religious or ethnic community.
“The point of Spread Hummus Not Hate is to show our fellow Washingtonians that grass roots Muslims and Jews can come together as close friends and collaborators and take a united stand against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other manifestations of bigotry,” said Walter Ruby, FFEU’s Muslim-Jewish Program Director. “We are here to demonstrate that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and will stand up for each other if either community is under attack.”
The Spread Hummus Not Hate bus trip kicks-off at 8:00am this Thursday, November 5. All events are open to the media. The full day schedule includes:
8 a.m. – Muslim Community Center, 15200 N.H. Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
9 a.m. – University of Maryland College Park, Stamp Student Union, 1021A Union Lane, College Park, MD
11:30 a.m. – Adas Israel Congregation, 2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington DC
1 p.m. – Farragut Square Park, Washington DC
2:30 p.m. – Masjid Muhammad, 1519 4th Street, NW, Washington DC
3:30 p.m. – George Washington University, Foggy Bottom Metro Station, 2301 I St NW, Washington DC
“Muslims and Jews in the Washington, DC-area decided to break the barriers of fear, commonly held stereotypes, false images and misrepresentations,” said Dr. Sahar Khamis, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland. “By spreading Hummus on pita and enjoying it together, we are spreading love, empathy, and reconciliation to replace hatred, fear and anger.”
“All of the riders want to spread the same message: We are here to show that as Jews and Muslims, we care about each other,” added Symi Rom-Rymer, board member of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. “It is essential that together we stand up together to counter forces of hate and mistrust. We are never more empowered then when we join forces to create a world that is fair and just for all who live within it.”
The Stand Up for the Other Pledge created by Dr. Ali Chaudry, President of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, NJ, which the SHNH bus riders will ask members of the public to sign reads: “While interacting with members of my own faith or ethnic community, or with others, if I hear hateful comments from anyone about members of any other community, I pledge to stand up for the other and challenge bigotry in any form.”
Spread Hummus Not Hate is part of a broader series of events taking place throughout November and December known as the Season of Twinning. Initiated in 2008 by the FFEU, the Season of Twinning annually brings together thousands of Muslims, Jews and others in scores of cities around the world to hold joint programs together based upon learning about each other, performing acts of loving kindness such as feeding the hungry and homeless and standing together against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. This year, the Season of Twinning, which kicked off with a statewide ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies rally November 1 in Trenton, NJ, will feature rallies and encounters on the same theme in such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv and Rabat, Morocco, as well as Washington.
To find out more about events happening throughout this year’s Season of Twinning, visit: http://www.ffeu.wordpress.com. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #WeRefuseToBeEnemies and #Tw15nning.
The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations. It was formed to promote understanding and cooperation between and among ethnic groups and to reduce the existing tensions among diverse racial and ethnic communities.