June 29, 2023
Below is the statement by GHIAA on the Eid al-Adha Attack on Rep. Maryam Khan. Riverfront Family Church is a member of GHIAA and affirms this statement.
The Center for Leadership and Justice and the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance are appalled at the recent attack on Rep. Maryam Khan after Eid al-Adha observances in Hartford on June 28, 2023.
Islamophobia, racism, and violence against women are scourges that continue to plague our communities. When violence is inflicted against a worshiper gathered for public celebration of an important and joyful holiday of her faith tradition, entire communities are traumatized. When violence is inflicted against a woman of color wearing the garments that express her religious identity, it sends a message of fear to all women who dare to take up space in public, to all persons of color who dare to be present on city streets, and to all adherents who dare to attire themselves in accordance with their values. Specifically, when violence is perpetrated against a Muslim woman of South Asian heritage who chooses to wear a hijab and attends a public religious observance, all Muslims, all immigrants, all persons of color, and all women are left feeling deeply vulnerable, unprotected, and unwelcome. This is unacceptable.
As the first Muslim woman elected to the Connecticut state legislature, and as a powerful advocate for equity at the Capitol, and as an educator in the special ed department at Weaver High School, Rep. Khan is a barrier-breaking leader in our community. But one should not have to be an elected official, or a teacher, or anything other than a human being to receive the full protection and dignity they deserve as a resident of our state. It is a fact that GHIAA and CLJ respect and admire Rep. Khan as a leader in our legislature. And, this attack would be equally repugnant and deserving of response if it had occurred against any other participant in Eid observances this week.
As an intentionally interreligious and multiracial organization, we believe that we are all harmed whenever any member of our community is attacked on the basis of their identity. Be it Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, or any other form of bigotry, CLJ and GHIAA are united in declaring that hate and violence have no place in our society. Such acts are unconscionable and are incompatible with the teachings of every one of our venerable religious traditions.
GHIAA and CLJ stand with Rep. Khan, with the Muslim community, with women, with immigrants, with the South Asian community, and with all who experience fear as a result of this violent act. We are committed to continuing our work for concrete change toward equity, safety, and flourishing for all who are targeted and marginalized by systemic injustice. The many and varied prayers of our diverse GHIAA community are united in common petition for healing of these emotional, physical, and spiritual wounds. May the God we know by many names, including the beautiful name Allah, bless Maryam Khan and her family, and all who suffer fear and violence, and all who join in the work of justice.
The Center for Leadership and Justice
Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance
At Riverfront Family Church, we believe in the power of unity and collaboration. We are called to work together with other faith communities to bring about positive change and transform our city. Today, we want to highlight the important work of the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA) and celebrate their recent victories. As we delve into their accomplishments and explore their current agenda, we hope to inspire and encourage our congregation to join hands in pursuing justice, compassion, and social transformation.
GHIAA has been at the forefront of numerous victories, advocating for justice and fairness in our community. They have stood up for the marginalized and vulnerable, making a tangible impact in the lives of many. Let us celebrate a few of their recent triumphs:
Affordable Housing Initiatives: GHIAA played a pivotal role in advocating for affordable housing policies, resulting in increased access to safe and affordable homes for families in our community. Through their efforts, families are finding stability and security, fostering stronger neighborhoods and communities.
Criminal Justice Reform: GHIAA has been instrumental in advocating for criminal justice reform, addressing issues such as bail reform, reentry programs, and reducing the school-to-prison pipeline. Their tireless work has led to increased opportunities for rehabilitation and a more equitable system for all.
Educational Equity: GHIAA has been a driving force in advocating for educational equity, working towards ensuring that every child in our community has access to quality education. Through their efforts, disparities are being addressed, and opportunities for success are expanding for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Current Agenda and Call to Action:
As we celebrate GHIAA's victories, it is equally important to be aware of their current agenda and the challenges that lie ahead. The work of justice and social transformation is ongoing, and GHIAA continues to be at the forefront of these efforts. Some key areas of their current agenda include:
Racial Justice and Equity: GHIAA remains committed to addressing systemic racism and promoting racial justice in our community. They are actively engaging in conversations, organizing events, and advocating for policies that dismantle racial inequities and create a more just society.
Healthcare Access: GHIAA recognizes the importance of affordable and accessible healthcare for all individuals and is working towards ensuring that everyone in our community has equitable access to healthcare services.
Environmental Justice: GHIAA is engaged in advocating for environmental justice, understanding the impact of environmental issues on marginalized communities and advocating for sustainable practices that promote a healthier and more equitable environment for all.
Call to Action:
As members of Riverfront Family Church, we are called to support and engage with GHIAA in their important work. Here are a few ways we can respond:
Stay Informed: Stay updated on GHIAA's initiatives, events, and campaigns. Visit their website, sign up for newsletters, and attend community meetings to remain informed about the issues they are addressing.
Volunteer and Engage: GHIAA often organizes rallies, community forums, and advocacy campaigns. Volunteer your time, voice, and talents to support their efforts and actively participate in bringing about positive change.
Pray: Lift up GHIAA and its members in your prayers. Pray for wisdom, strength, and discernment as they continue to advocate for justice and equality in our community.
GHIAA's work is a testament to the power of faith communities coming together for the greater good. We celebrate their victories, acknowledge their ongoing agenda, and respond to their call to action. Let us join hands with GHIAA and other faith communities in the pursuit of justice, compassion, and
In recent weeks, the West Hartford community has grappled with the presence of panhandlers in public spaces. The initial response, posting "No Trespassing" signs, brought to light important questions regarding compassion, poverty, and social justice. As followers of Christ, it is crucial for us to delve deeper into these issues and consider how His teachings guide our response. In this blog post, we will explore the multifaceted nature of the problem and emphasize the importance of addressing poverty and homelessness with Christ-like compassion.
The Uncomfortable Truth:
Acknowledging that panhandlers can make us feel uncomfortable is the first step towards understanding their plight. However, we should reflect on why this discomfort arises within us. As followers of Jesus, we are called to embrace the discomfort and actively address the poverty and homelessness challenges present in our community. Christ's ministry was centered around compassion, and by following His example, we can work towards meaningful change and foster empathy within our midst.
Avoiding the Criminalization of Poverty:
Labeling individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty as trespassers on public property criminalizes their state of vulnerability. As believers, we are called to love and embrace the marginalized, not perpetuate injustice. Jesus Himself reached out to those on the fringes of society, offering them healing, hope, and acceptance. We must remember that each person is a child of God, deserving of dignity and compassion. By standing against the criminalization of poverty, we can demonstrate Christ's love and advocate for social justice.
Challenging Stereotypes and Misconceptions:
It is essential to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that surround panhandlers. While it is true that some may exploit the kindness of others, it is not our place to judge the authenticity of their need. Jesus often challenged societal perceptions and offered grace to those who were deemed unworthy. As we encounter individuals in need, we should approach each encounter with open hearts and minds, seeking to understand their stories. Jesus teaches us to extend love and mercy to all, leaving judgment to God.
Promoting Sustainable Solutions:
Merely attempting to eradicate panhandling through signs and policies without addressing the root causes of poverty is a short-sighted approach. As Christians, we are called to seek sustainable solutions that address the systemic issues contributing to poverty and homelessness. Jesus taught us to care for the least among us, urging us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and provide for those in need (Matthew 25:35-40). By investing in initiatives that offer affordable housing, job training, mental health services, and addiction support, we reflect Christ's love and help individuals regain their dignity and independence.
The recent situation in West Hartford surrounding the "No Trespassing" signs presents us with an opportunity to examine poverty and homelessness through the lens of Christ's teachings. As followers of Jesus, we are called to respond with compassion, empathy, and justice. By embracing the discomfort, challenging stereotypes, and promoting sustainable solutions, we can embody Christ's love and create a community that reflects His teachings. Let us remember the words of Micah 6:8, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." May we answer this call with open hearts and a commitment to transforming our communities through the power of Christ's love.