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ING’s Interfaith Coordinator, Yasmine Khan joined other interfaith and community leaders in a Global Day for Darfur event titled: Interfaith Prayer for Darfur & World Leaders on Sunday, September 16 at Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. The event, which was organized in coordination with a national campaign featured representatives from major faith groups emphasizing the importance of world wide action to protect the citizens of Darfur. In her brief, yet powerful speech to the gathering, Yasmine stated the following:
We are gathered here today to remember and stand in solidarity with those who are voiceless and faceless. We are here today to remind ourselves that every human life is valuable, and none of us can be truly free while others are oppressed. All faiths teach the Golden Rule of loving for others what ones loves for oneself, and even preferring others over oneself.
At this holy time in various faiths, including Ramadan in Islam and the High Holy Days in Judaism, let us reflect on some of the lessons of these holy days as they relate to helping those in need. Ramadan is a physical daily reminder of the bounties that we often take for granted, but that so many in the world live without. In the midst of our abundance, it is a time to reflect on the pangs of hunger that millions and even billions of people experience in their daily lives on a continuing basis. Over a billion people in the world live on only a $1 a day, while over 2 billion live on $2 a day, less than the price of a latte. Millions of children die due to lack of food, medicine, or clean drinking water, while millions of others are afflicted with diseases relating to overeating. All faiths teach that every human life and soul is valuable and precious, but how many human lives are lost daily due to the inequality of wealth distribution, war, poverty, and disease.
As we gather here today, we remind ourselves of the sanctity of every human life, regardless of race, religion, or social status. A prophetic traditions tells us that “All of us came from Adam,” and a Qur’anic verse teaches that “saving one life is like saving all of humanity.” In the 21st century with all of our technology, wealth and advancements, we have still not found solutions for war, disease, and hunger in much of the world.
We are gathered here today to say no to killing, no to bloodshed, no to wars without end. The conflict in Darfur has gone on far too long, and far too many innocent lives have been lost. As the leader among nations today we have a moral responsibility to ensure that all citizens of the world share the same rights and resources that we have been blessed with, and that every human life is considered precious. We call on our leaders in government to work for peaceful solutions to conflict and war in Darfur and in every nation where there is bloodshed and strife. We must be the moral leader our founding fathers envisioned us to be, promoting peace and goodwill at home and abroad.
I join hands with my brothers and sisters to pray for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Darfur, for a return to peace, stability and prosperity, there and throughout the world.
Prayer: Oh, God help us to help others achieve the peace and prosperity we enjoy. Help us to be moral leaders and guides for the betterment of all people. Help us to truly live the Golden Rule in our lives by wanting for others what we want for ourselves, and even preferring others over ourselves. Oh, God, during these holy days in multiple faiths, we ask for your help in healing and bringing peace to our planet and our world. Amen.