[Hamza El-Nakhal is a board member for the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.]
While we were sleeping, they stole the crescent on top of the new Davis mosque. At this point, we do not know who 'they' are or why they did it. We only know there is an empty space where a symbol of faith once stood. We know this crime - whether motivated by hate or by the value of the copper in the crescent - strikes at the heart of our community, our sense of decency and justice.
We want to send a 'shout out' (commendation) to Davis resident Karen Newton for her brief letter to the editor in The Enterprise and her e-mail to me (Jonathan) notifying us of the theft. Despite limited coverage of the theft in the local media, the Davis community has rallied with our Muslim neighbors in their time of need.
Much of this organization has come through the networks developed through a multi-faith effort called the Celebration of Abraham that brings Muslims, Christians and Jews together to explore their common roots and to build a culture of understanding and respect.
Building up from the relationships forged through hosting this annual event, this network has mobilized over the Internet to launch a 'Campaign of 1000' to raise the $5,000 replacement cost for the crescent in increments of $5 or more. The low donation figure is intended to encourage wide participation in the effort, extending into all sectors of the community.
Checks may be brought to the Celebration of Abraham today or sent to the Islamic Center of Davis, P.O. Box 73644, Davis, CA 95617. In addition, donations may be made online to the Islamic Center of Davis at: http://www.davismasjid.org/donation.php.
As a result of these efforts, Hamza El-Nakhal, a leader of the Davis Islamic Center, recently described his reaction to this collective effort.
'The great sense of a loving community makes me grateful to the person who took that crescent. A crescent taken is a community gained. Today, I feel that the Islamic Center of Davis belongs to the whole community, not just the Muslim community.' (MORE)
Jonathan London, Ph.D., is a Davis resident and parent. He shares this monthly column with Jann Murray-Garcia. He may be reached at email@example.com