Zarak Javed
Zarak Javed campaign leader

Interfaith Unity Walk - Flushing, NY

An amazing show of friendship, cooperation, curiosity, and eagerness - to spread the teachings of the world's faiths so widely professed - was on full display today in Flushing, New York as the third annual Queens Interfaith Unity Walk was held and attended by over 150 people of several faiths.

That the walk ended at the Friends (Quaker) Meeting House on Northern Blvd, was perfectly appropriate, as it was 30 residents of Flushing over 350 years ago who objected to the banning of Quakers from Flushing in 1657 by New Amsterdam's leader Peter Stuyvesant. The overturning of that ban by authorities in the Netherlands would later provide a foundation of the U.S. first amendment's freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.

We first ate a wonderful vegetarian lunch at the Sikh Center, we then walked across the street to the Temple Gates of Prayer Synagogue, then walked five blocks to the Masjid Hazrat Abu Bakr Mosque, then five blocks to the Tzu Chi Foundation (Taiwanese Buddhism), then two blocks to the Friends Meeting House (built in 1694), where we ate once again before disbanding. At each stop, a religious leader or elder provided an overview of the teachings and beliefs of their faith, welcomed us warmly, provided inspiration to us who would see past divisions created by political and media leaders.

Last year's walk included stops at a Hindu Temple and an African Methodist Episcopal Church. We easily walked past 30 other houses of worship we could have stopped at.

Next year's walk will have different stops, but the spirit I'm sure will be the same. All are welcome.

Social justice networking was super.

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