A Cincinnati, Ohio mosque may be the first Islamic house of prayer to join the growing sanctuary movement, a mission to help protect immigrants from deportation.
The announcement came on the eve of the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, who took a hard-line stance on immigration and proposed a national Muslim registry during his campaign.
“It took us no time to decide that this was the ethical and moral thing to do,” said Imam Ismaeel Chartier, leader of the Clifton Mosque, which attracts upwards of 800 people to Friday prayers at its location near the Cincinnati Zoo. “We want to help reclaim humanity for everyone.” …
In Cincinnati, the Clifton Mosque will join Christ Church Cathedral, an Episcopal community in downtown Cincinnati, in shielding and supporting any immigrants who seek help from and pass a screening by a local branch of Interfaith Worker Justice.
Another five local houses of worship have pledged themselves “in solidarity with” the sanctuary congregations, and will potentially provide money, food, clothing, transportation and more. They include a Jewish congregation, a Methodist church and a nondenominational Christian church.
Chartier said his congregation, which was the victim of a pipe bombing about a decade ago, knows what it is to feel like “punching bags.” That, he said, makes them suited to help those seeking sanctuary.
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Photo: Clifton Mosque, via RNS and Creative Commons