Controversy Over Somali Muslim Immigrant Communities in Small N.E. Town

January 10, 2003

Source: The Times Record

On January 10, 2003 The Times Record reported that "groups with widely diverse backgrounds plan to come together this evening and Saturday in support of diversity... For example, members of the Beth Israel Congregation here will be lighting candles tonight after their regular Sabbath service. At the same time on the Brunswick Mall, there will be a public candle lighting, preceded by an interfaith service at St. Charles Borromeo Church... At synagogues and churches in Portland, Auburn, Lewiston and throughout the Mid-coast area, citizens are being asked to light a candle between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. tonight to demonstrate that Maine rejects intolerance and welcomes all people of goodwill, regardless of race, creed or cultural differences. During the last five minutes of tonight's candlelight vigil — between 8:25 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — church bells in many communities, including Brunswick, will toll to give a ringing endorsement of diversity... All week long, civil rights teams at high schools from Freeport to Wiscasset have been making plans and drawing signs for a rally Saturday in Lewiston, which is scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bates College. Religious, school and community organizations from throughout Maine, in response to a call from a new pro-diversity group called the Many and One Coalition, have committed to travel to Lewiston Saturday to counter an anti-Somali demonstration sponsored by the World Church of the Creator."

See also: Interfaith, Civic