Local News

Interfaith Alliance organizes Quran reading in Raleigh

Posted September 11, 2010 7:11 p.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2010 11:01 p.m. EDT

— Members of different faiths came together Saturday at a Raleigh church to support a message of tolerance and peace.

Every 15 minutes within a two-hour period, a passage from the holy book of Islam was read in Arabic, and then in English, at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Hillsborough Street.

Around 100 people attended the reading, which was held to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania and in response Rev. Terry Jones' threat this week to burn copies of the Quran. Jones, the pastor of a small, independent church in Gainesville, Fla., later called off his widely denounced plans.

“Instead of burning the Quran, learn from the Quran,” Mohammed “Moe” El-Gamal of Raleigh, the president of the Muslim American Public Affairs Council, said Saturday.

El-Gamal was among those who gathered at the church to promote positive Muslim-Christian relations.

“We have tolerance. We want to reach out. We want to love one another,” he said.

Nancy Huslage, a board member of Triangle Interfaith Alliance, also wants to see better relations between religions.

“It is our best selves coming forward, where we embrace each other and spend time trying to understand each other, rather than listening to the fringes,” Huslage said. “The more we can be together in the community, the better chance we have for peace in this world."

Religious leaders say they want church members to reach out to each other and learn more about the different religions. They pledged to support one another in their journeys of faith.