In the name of God Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
We believe and cherish that all human beings in this world, regardless of gender, race, nation, or religion, are blessed with three beautiful lights. The first light is the light of intelligence placed in our heads, so that we can tell right from wrong. The second light is the light of consciousness placed in our eyes, so that we can take lessons from what we see. The third light is the light of compassion placed in our hearts. so that we love God's creation, and through this love we learn how to love Him. How could anyone love God without loving His creation?
On Tuesday September 11th, in front of our eyes, thousands of innocent fathers, mothers, children, sisters, brothers, friends, loved ones, who went to work to bring sustenance to their families, were killed indiscriminately, regardless of age, gender, race, nation or religion. How could this villainous act be the work of a human being who is honored with these three lights of intelligence, compassion, and consciousness? We fear that this villainous act has another target beyond the innocent lives of the lost, a hidden target: the hearts of millions.
We fear that with the suffering, grief, sadness, and anger inflicted upon our hearts, we will be ready to trade in the light of compassion, one of the most beautiful gifts of God, for the darkness of hatred. If the darkness of hatred drives compassion from the heart, neither the light of intelligence nor the light of consciousness survive. When there is no intelligence, there is no reasoning, there is no religion, there is no humanity. When the darkness of hatred enters the heart, anyone can be a terrorist.
The place of the lost ones is the beautiful Garden of Paradise. Those who sacrificed their own lives for the lives of others are the true martyrs. For we who were left behind, I pray, "Oh Lord, increase our strength so that in your Name we can fight the darkness of hatred with the light of compassion. Help us to eliminate the separation of 'you' and 'I,' 'your religion' and 'my religion.' Unite us as one nation, the nation of the human race." Amin.
(This speech was delivered on September 17 for the afternoon memorial ceremony at Nyack's Memorial Park where more than 1000 people gathered to remember and pray for the missing and the dead, including Mohammed Shajahan Al-Jerrahi, father of four.)