American Episocpal Priest Reflects on Interfaith Cooperation to Rebuild Afghan Mosque

February 20, 2004

Source: Slate

On February 20, 2004 the Slate ran a column by the Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of New York, on her experience as a part of the partnership between the Diocese of New York and Masjid Hazrat-i-Abu Bakr in Flushing, N.Y. to rebuild a mosque destroyed in Afghanistan during the war of 2001. She writes, "For conservative Christians who doubt that the church should reconstruct mosques abroad while its own houses of worship lack weatherproof roofing, the fact that we have no plans, as yet, for a second mosque in Quarabagh will offer scant comfort. One reconstructed Afghan mosque is more than enough. For others, however—some Episcopalian New Yorkers, our interfaith partners in Flushing, and the people of Quarabagh who now have a concrete example of Christian-Muslim cooperation (one that they can worship inside)—the project successfully embodies hope of interfaith reconciliation. And for still others—secular professionals who rebuild nations, not mosques—here's some faith-based advice you may already know: When you go in where angels fear to tread, step lightly, honor your translator, and remember that you are a stranger in a foreign land."