In a response to anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic hate wave, people of different faiths in Boston came together to send a unity message with an interfaith exhibition about Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).
“Abraham’s legacy in human history is very complex. It’s not all flowers and roses,” Rev. Amy McCreath, dean of the historic St. Paul Cathedral told Religion News Service.
“Many people who come to the exhibit are familiar with the basic stories from scripture. Each piece of art invites them to think more deeply about each story, interrogate it, see more in it.”
The idea of the exhibition first came to Rev. McCreath after the deadly mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue and the show of unity and love that followed it.
According to McCreath, more than a thousand locals gathered together on the Boston Common to mourn and pray.
“I looked out over the crowds of people. It was so clear that all of them really want a peaceful future,” she remembered.
“We want to work together against violence, but we don’t even know each other. Unfortunately, the odds are good that something like that will happen again, and we need to be prepared to support one another and defend one another.”
RNS photo by Aysha Khan
The two-year touring exhibition “Abraham: Out of One, Many,” is curated by the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler of Caravan, an international art non-profit affiliated with the Episcopal Church.
After premiering in Rome in May, the show began the 20-month US tour at Nebraska’s Tri-Faith Initiative this fall.
Local Iraqi Muslim surrealist Sinan Hussein, California-based Chaldean abstract exhibitionist Qais al Sindy and Jewish Jerusalem-based painter Shai Azoulay each offer their own depictions of five themes within Abraham’s spiritual journey: “Living as a Pilgrim,” “Welcoming the Stranger,” “Sacrificial Love,” “The Compassionate” and “A Friend of God.”
The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh is still recovering from the October 2018 deadly shooting. The attack left eleven people killed and a number of others injured.
Following the attacks, CelebrateMercy, a Muslim nonprofit which spreads the message about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), raised nearly $240,000 in days for Jewish victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.