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Miami Mosques Answer Immigration Ban with Interfaith Prayer Services

Rowan Moore Gerety
Rabbi Robert Davis, of Miami Beach's Temple Beth Sholom, greets Imam Nasir Ahmad at the Masjid Al-Ansar on 54th St.

  You know you’re in Miami when the call to prayer is delivered in a Guayabera. After the muezzin sang, Imam Nasir Ahmad approached the lectern at Masjid Al-Ansar on Northwest 54th Street to greet a hall full of Christians and Jews who responded to a call by MCCJ, the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, to join Friday prayers at a local mosque. “You outnumber my own congregation,” he said with a chuckle.

Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN
Shelves lined with shoes during an interfaith gathering at Miami's Masjid Al-Ansar


Ahmad quoted from the Torah and from the New Testament, reminding the congregation that the Qu’ran— “contrary to what you hear in the media”—mentions Jesus more than two dozen times. God gave us the Word of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, he reasoned, without their pictures, so that “we would not know their races."

Ahmad’s remarks focused on the humanity that unites people of all faiths. “I’ve never heard a man cough in German,” he said. “I’ve never heard a man sneeze in Japanese.”

Similar gatherings will be held around the country Friday and throughout the weekend, billed as actions in solidarity with American Muslims and refugees and promoted with the hashtag #WeAreAllAmericans.



The campaign is a deliberate answer to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring new arrivals from seven majority Muslim countries.  But in Miami no one mentioned that policy or  the flurry of federal court orders issued in response. “I’m so glad that the main issue in the preaching today is not the hate happening in our nation, but the love that we need to be together,” said Jose Manuel Capella-Pratts, pastor of a Presbyterian church in Little Havana. Better than fighting the White House’s fire with fire, he said, is to use water to put it out. 

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