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Interfaith leaders urge Utahns to wear head coverings or other symbols in support of Muslims

First Published      Last Updated Feb 17 2016 04:00 pm

West Valley City • In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, overgeneralizations about Islam and bigoted remarks against all Muslims, Utah interfaith leaders are stepping up to show solidarity with their fellow believers.

Jewish, Unitarian, Mormon, Episcopal, Muslim and Hindu representatives stood together Thursday at the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City, urging Utahns of all faiths to wear hijabs (headscarves), Jewish yarmulkes, Sikh turbans, red dots on their foreheads or green ribbons to work, school, shopping or any other activities Friday as symbols of support for "freedom of religion without persecution."

The hope is that even non-Muslims and nonbelievers of any kind might wear head coverings or other outward symbols of empathy and understanding.

The effort is the brainchild of Noor Ul-Hasan, who worships at the Khadeeja mosque and has been a longtime member of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.

Ul-Hasan briefly considered removing her hijab in recent weeks, thinking it might make her a possible target of hate. When she mentioned that publicly, however, she received overwhelming support to continue.

She did this boldly, even after GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country.

Other speakers Thursday repeated their determination to circle Utah's Muslims with love and mutual respect.

"In the Abrahamic faiths, one of the commandments is to love the stranger, because we've all been strangers," said headscarf-wearing Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman of Congregation Kol Ami, Utah's largest Jewish synagogue. "We want to make sure our community is a place of friendship and peace."


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