Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Woman Interrupts National Cathedral Muslim Service

The Washington National Cathedral hosted its first-ever recitation of Friday Muslim prayers in a service last week, though a heckler interrupted the ceremony.

The closed ceremony invited special guests and a few hundred Muslims to pray at the cathedral, featuring the weekly prayers and a sermon from Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s ambassador to the United States.

“We come to this cathedral with sensitivity and humility but keenly aware that it is not a time for platitudes, because mischief is threatening the world,” Rasool said in his sermon, according to The Washington Post. “The challenge for us today is to reconstitute a middle ground of good people … whose very existence threatens extremism.”

A Michigan woman named Christine Weick drove up from Tennessee when she heard about the service at the Episcopal cathedral.

The Washington Post reported that Weick interrupted the prayer service to announce: “Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and savior. We have built … allowed you your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? We are a country founded on Christian principles.”

According to The Washington Post, she was quickly removed from the cathedral, and the service continued. Other community leaders, including officials from the cathedral and local Muslims, followed Rasool, calling for increased interfaith dialogue and rejection of religious extremism.

Though this is the first time the weekly prayers have been invited into the cathedral, the church has previously hosted other interfaith events — including a prayer for Japan in 2011 after the tsunami and two Christian-Muslim summits involving dialogues between prominent faith leaders of both religions in 2010 and 2012.

“Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, opening its doors to Americans of all faiths. It is an Episcopal church that recognizes that the United States is home to people of many faiths. The cathedral has long been home to interfaith gatherings and the call to prayer has been made within its walls by Christians, Muslims and Jews,” the Washington National Cathedral said in a statement to The Hoya.

This event originated from the cathedral’s relationship with Rasool, who had previously organized the cathedral’s honoring of Nelson Mandela after the South African leader’s death.

The occasion featured heavy security that the organizers attributed to threats received by the cathedral in response to the service.

Despite the interruption, the cathedral reported positive reviews of the service.

“Participants, both Christians and Muslims, found it moving to witness each other’s prayers and sacred space,” the Washington National Cathedral said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *