Washington National Cathedral hosts Jumu’ah: Church of England Newspaper, November 21, 2014 November 21, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Islam, The Episcopal Church, Washington.
Tags: interfaith, Washington National Cathedral
Washington’s National Cathedral played host to a media event last week, holding its first Islamic prayer service in cooperation with Washington-area Muslim groups. The invitation only Friday prayer service was held in the Cathedral’s north transept, a part of the cathedral where there are no Christian symbols. Following the recitation of the prayers, the audience, segregated into areas for men and women listed to Ebrahim Rasool, a Muslim who serves as South Africa’s ambassador to the United States. Rasool stated Muslims “come to this cathedral with sensitivity and humility but keenly aware that it is not a time for platitudes, because mischief is threatening the world. The challenge for us today is to reconstitute a middle ground of good people . . . whose very existence threatens extremism.” The cathedral was closed to visitors on Friday morning save for the press and Muslim invitees, but one woman stood during the service and objected to the proceedings, stating “America was founded on Christian principles. . . . Leave our church alone!” She was escorted from the building and the service continued. Since 1980 the cathedral has played host to inter-faith services, but Friday’s 11:30 service was the first Muslim ceremony held in the cathedral, which prides itself on its avant garde approach to religious and social issues.