Thank you for including me in this opening of the mosque at this unique and wonderful institution, the House of Religions. Though we have many different backgrounds represented here today, I believe the fact we are all sharing this room is testament to the peace and solidarity we are all working toward. This is an effort that no single person or religion can do alone and it is with this idea in mind that I would like to share some words spoken by President Obama last month in Selma, Alabama, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights marches there:
“What they did here will reverberate through the ages. Not because the change they won was preordained; not because their victory was complete; but because they proved that nonviolent change is possible, that love and hope can conquer hate.”
In that spirit, I want to emphasize the ideal that is represented by this space: that our collective work toward tolerance and the freedom to come together with respect and reverence for one another’s beliefs, is not only vital to us here today, but will define the world our children inherit.