For the past five years, a Long Island mosque and church have joined together to spread cheer and provide a warm meal to struggling families. Their goals are simple: to provide needs for the community and celebrate the commonalities in different religious faiths.
“With so much hate going on and lack of tolerance for people who are different from me or you, it’s so important that we see families getting together who are of different traditions,” said Westbury United Methodist Church volunteer Rose Walker.
“When we join our Christian brothers and sisters for Christmas, this is a message of love and peace which we should all believe in the universal message,” said Dr. Isma Chaudry of the Islamic Center.
The event started 15 years ago when church members delivered turkeys to needy families during the holidays. However, they quickly realized many families didn’t have kitchens in which to prepare the meal. This Christmas was the fifth year the Islamic Center teamed up with the Westbury United Methodist Church to deliver warm meals and a supportive message.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself, that is what the Lord has called to all the faiths,” said Rev. Dr. Elon Sylvester of the Westbury United Methodist Church. “That is the highest ideal that we aspire to.”
This year added free health screening as a new form of care.
“I think it’s really important that we give back to the community,” said Dr. Uzma Syed.
“We can give them an additional service of getting medically checked out since we have so many physicians in our community,” added Mukheet Ahmed.
“We don’t see religion as a border, we see it as something that’s there to help,” said volunteer Khavi Ahmed. “I want to create a bond between all faiths. I think when it comes down to it we are all human.”