At another one of the 9/11 attack sites, the Pentagon in Washington DC, a daily Islamic prayer service has been held in November 2002 by the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain, whose mission is “meeting the spiritual needs of the Pentagon.” Neither of the Pentagon chaplains are Muslim, and according to the AP, the Friday Muslim worship service at the Pentagon is ” run by an imam from a local mosque.”
At the Pentagon Interfaith Chapel, it has a stain glass window, inscribed “United in Memory,” designed by a veteran. But the memory of 9/11 is intended to be unifying for the armed forces of all religions, races, and identity groups, rather than a source of division.
AP reports: “Muslims pray daily at Pentagon’s 9/11 crash site.” In the AP report, it states that: “Americans are debating bitterly the proposed building of a mosque near New York’s ground zero, but for years Muslims have prayed quietly at the Pentagon only 80 feet from where another hijacked jetliner struck. Pentagon officials say that no one in the military or the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has ever protested. They describe the 100-seat chapel as a peaceful place where some 300 to 400 Pentagon employees come to pray each week. The chapel hosts separate weekly worship services for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Mormons, Protestants, Catholics and Episcopalians.”
The goal of the Pentagon chaplain office, which runs the chapel, is to ‘provide assistance and support for the religious, spiritual and morale needs of all service members and employees,’ said Army spokesman George Wright. In 2001, hijacked American Airlines flight 77 flew into the west side of the Pentagon, plowing through three of the building’s five office ‘rings’ and killing 184 people. As part of its massive renovation and to honor victims in the attack, the Pentagon opened the chapel in November 2002.”
“The chapel includes no religious symbols, except Catholic holy water at the door; religious accouterments are brought in for various worship services. Wright said that Muslim employees can gather for a daily prayer service Monday through Thursday, and attend a Friday worship service run by an imam from a local mosque. Two in-house Army chaplains run the chapel, neither of which are Muslim. Col. Daniel Minjares is associated with the Church of the Nazarene; his deputy, Lt. Col. Ken Williams, is Southern Baptist. Wright said the chaplains provide religious services for their denomination, but can provide services such as grief and marital counseling to employees of any faith.”
In addition to the Pentagon chapel’s Islamic services, other Muslim chaplains such as Chaplain (Maj.) Ibraheem Raheem have served in combat locations and provide prayer services and counseling to deployed American armed forces. The Department of Defense news reported: “His service as both a Muslim and an American soldier, he said, can lead to confusion for some people, both in the military and in local communities. ‘After you talk to people and explain a few things to them, they get it,’ Raheem said. ‘That is, after breaking down a whole bunch of walls that have been put up in people’s minds.’ ”
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our universal human rights of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship for ALL people — without exception. We reject protests against houses of worship, and we reject violence and attacks on houses of worship.
Responsible for Equality and Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our universal human rights to freedom of religion, freedom of worship, and freedom of conscience for all people of all faiths, including the freedom of religion supported under Article 1 of the United States Constitution. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
We are deeply concerned about the escalation of intolerance and hate that we seeing growing around the world, including in America today. We will be inviting the public to join us in a freedom of religion, freedom of worship, and freedom of conscience event on September 11 at 2 PM in Freedom Plaza in Washington DC to give Americans an opportunity to publicly show their support for such freedoms. There is more information at 911Freedom.com, — Facebook Event: Public Rally for Freedom of Religion, Worship, Conscience.
We urge those who promote hate and intolerance to unburden the hate from their hearts.
We urge all to Choose Love, Not Hate. Love Wins.