Interfaith Community Holds Vigil for Orlando Victims

Loudoun’s interfaith community came together again Monday night to, in the words of All Dulles Area Muslim Society board chairman Rizwan Jaka, “answer bad with good.”

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling Reverend Anya Sammler-Michael rings a bowl 50 times to remember the people slain in Orlanda. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael rings a bowl 50 times to remember the people slain in Orlanda. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

People from a several faiths gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling Monday to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of the lives lost in the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday morning. After a brief service in which prayers were offered in a variety of languages and faiths, the congregants stood at the busy corner of Davis Drive and Sterling Boulevard to hold a silent candlelight vigil.

Jaka shared a lesson from the Quran that he has had occasion to share many times in the last year.

ADAMS board chairman Rizwan Jaka. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
ADAMS board chairman Rizwan Jaka. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

“God tells us in the Quran that if you take a life, it is as if you have taken the life of all humanity, and if you save a life, it’s as though you have saved the life of all humanity,” Jaka said. “That outlaw, that criminal, took the life of all of humanity.”

Jaka joined the Loudoun religious leaders in condemning the mass shooting in Orlando—and calling for the community to respond with love.

“With every tragedy, we become stronger,” said Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES Vice President and Sikh Gurpreet Singh. “Every time we are put through fire, we become steel. That’s what we become, and yet sweet like sugar, and that’s the key component we need to keep as human beings, and that’s our difference. Under the banner of the stars and stripes, we always say home of the brave, land of the free. Bravery is in the strength of love and compassion and forgiveness.”

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

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