BOSTON – Supporting Boston Muslims in the face of rising bigotry, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants has paid a special visit to a Boston mosque, telling worshippers he felt their pain.
“As long as things are being said in our nation’s capital that might cause you to wonder whether your constitutional rights will be honored, I will continue to come,” Gants said, Boston Herald reported Saturday.
“Because my presence here today is the clearest way I know to reassure you of the unwavering commitment of our judiciary in Massachusetts to protect the free exercise of religion, to ensure the due process of law, and to provide equal protection under the law.”
Justice Gants was attending a special event at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC).
During the event, held on Friday, Shaykh Yasir F. Fahmy, senior Imam at ISBCC spoke about the challenges facing the Muslim community in today’s divisive political climate.
He said certain politicians have shouted “some of the ugliest opinions about us” and that this discourse “trickles down to our kids in our schools. … It creates a bully culture.”
Fahmy added that anti-Muslim “propaganda” is hurting the community, maintaining that those who follow Islam should not allow themselves to live as victims.
“Our own children are on the receiving end of so much hate,” he said. “My message to you is this: Don’t ever allow yourself to be controlled by the pain.”
Gants assured Muslims that the court system will remain as a beacon of hope for those whose faith in the community at large has been shaken.
“In the political sphere, this would be seen as a miracle; in our courtrooms, it is the near-universal norm,” he said.
“But it is what can happen when people commit to being fair and impartial, when they carefully consider the credible evidence, and when they listen respectfully to each other.”
He also referenced the importance of an “independent and impartial” judiciary and how facts — not bluster — protect people “from the reckless, lawless abuse of power” and from “ignorance that measures a man or a woman’s worth by the color of their skin, the nation where their parents are born, or the religion they freely have chosen.”
Gants paused for a moment before explaining to worshipers the importance of the rule of law.
“In a time of wind and rain,” he said. “That is where we can find shelter from the storm.”