(BOSTON, MA, 3/28/16) – The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) today expressed solidarity with the Christian community in that state after vandals spray-painted a statue of the Virgin Mary outside of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood, Mass.
“We stand in solidarity with the Christian community in Massachusetts and hope the perpetrators of this disturbing act of attempted desecration are brought to justice,” said Dr. John Robbins, executive director of CAIR-MA.
Robbins noted that Muslim hold the Virgin Mary in the highest honor as the mother of Jesus.
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “And We blessed the woman (Mary), who guarded her chastity, We breathed into her of Our Spirit and We made her and her son a sign for the whole world.” (The Holy Quran, 21:91)
Also: “And We made the son of Mary (Jesus) and his mother a sign for humankind, and gave them a shelter on a peaceful lofty ground, furnished with a fresh spring.” (The Holy Quran, 23:50)
And: “There came the time when angels said: “O Mary! Surely Allah has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds.” (The Holy Quran, 3:42)
Last year, CAIR-MA and the Boston-based Muslim Justice League similarly joined in expressing solidarity with St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Southborough, Mass., which was targeted with hate graffiti containing racial and religious slurs.
CAIR has in the past expressed solidarity with Christian communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, and California following acts of vandalism, arson or bombings.
The Washington-based civil rights group is offering to send its publication, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” to leaders of houses of worship of all faiths.
That booklet, which was published in response to previous attacks on American Muslim institutions, contains safety information applicable to any institution and may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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