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Interfaith Iftar

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Woodland Mosque & Islamic Center

1023 North Street, Woodland CA 95695        Ph: 530-666-4706

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Interfaith Iftar 2014aWoodland's Vice Mayor Bill Marble, complimented children like Sadiq who are learning their traditions through fasting. Marble, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, noted that "religious helps our children learn tradition and values" and the need for self-sacrifice and self-discipline.

Samina Faheem, executive director of American Muslim Voice, who provided headscarves for the evening, to non-Muslims spoke briefly about trying to make at least one new friend during the evening.

She said it was one way to stop the hate-mongers and others who seek to divide those of different beliefs.

"Everything starts with eye contact and breaking bread with one another, Faheem said. "When we break bread we break barriers. We need to know each other because as soon as we do we have the power to end violance and hatred. We will love our BROTHERS  and sisters as they should be loved."

Faheem who has often brought headscarves to Muslim events, said that since 2003 she and others have distributed 18,000 scarves to promote better understanding.

Woodland Police Chief Dan Bellini said such CULTURAL  events allowed people to "reaffirm our duties to one another, to reaffirm our desire to embrace diversity, and our commitment to the fundamental freedoms of all people."

"It's not sufficient to just tolerate those of different backgrounds and beliefs," Bellini said. "it's essential. It's diversity that helps build and sustain the strength and courage of our country.

"We can't accept attitudes of 'us vs. them,'" said Bellni. "IT'S EVENTS  like tonight, where we come together as a community, that we discover we have much more in common than we initially realized."

Bellini was supported by Davis Police Chief Landy Black, who said he had already made one new friend at the gathering. He saisd much of the discussion at his dining table was focused on youth and youth CRIME . He hoped that events such as the dinner would be "one way we can bring about greater peace in the community."

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, who has attended the Iftar Dinner for a number of years said the gathering represents a "selflessness that is emblematic of these gatherings."

"This WILL BE  my final Iftar Dinner as a member of the Legislature and Assembly," Yamada said, while wearing a black and silver headscarf. "But I hope to return as a private citizen next year because we know our work is never is never done. So many in our global FAMILY  are suffering. It is really a mystery to me as to how much hate there is in the world today.

"But there is also love and the love that we do have and are capable of," she CONTINUED ," this force for good in our nation, our state and our communities" gives her hope.

"We cannot give up," Yamada said. "We cannot stop. We must stand up for one another in a strong way, but a peaceful way, and let good prevail. With partnerships like these (gatherings) we grow stronger and stronger; and I have great belief that we will prevail and that goodness will overcome."

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