In the midst of a crumbling world, 220 Shoreliners learn how to Heal the Hate

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

220 people heard Rais Bhuiyan speak in Shoreline Dec 3
By Rick McClurg, David Matthews, and Chris Adams

On Sunday, December 3rd, 220 people came to the Shoreline Center to hear Rais Buiyan tell his story of being shot-gunned in the face by a white supremacist in the days immediately following 9/11. 

Rais, who is Muslim, drew on his faith and on his mother’s teachings and was able to respond to this violent act with forgiveness and empathy for his attacker, eventually deciding to dedicate his life to teaching empathy through his organization, World Without Hate (WWH).

The event was planned and facilitated by Communities Rising!-Shoreline as a way to introduce and promote WWH as one of the ways that ordinary citizens can respond to their sense that something is broken and crumbling in our world.

One attendee said, “It feels like the world is in the midst of great and frightening changes that can lead to a sense of despair. But at the same time that everything seems to be falling apart, there are events like this one and people like Rais Bhuiyan that give us a reason for hope and inspiration to know that as things fall apart, we can do something to make things better.”

Many other organizations joined this effort as co-sponsors, with the goal of helping to find ways to work in our community to make it a more caring, loving, and compassionate place.

These included Meaningful Movies (Seattle), Communities Rising!-Seattle, Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church, Lake Forest Park for Peace, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, Muslim Association of Puget Sound, American Muslim Empowerment Network, Racial Justice Group of Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation, City of Shoreline, Bethel Lutheran Church, and the Interfaith Community Sanctuary.

Most inspiring of all were the students from Shorewood High School Associated Student Body and their Amnesty International Club, who helped in a variety of ways throughout the afternoon, demonstrating their passion and willingness to work for change.

WWH has recently moved to the Seattle area, and their executive director Jessica Carso stated, “We are inspired by the Shoreline community’s response, and look forward to carrying on our good work in collaboration with schools and other organizations in Shoreline and the Puget Sound area”.

Rais Bhuiyan told his story as the best possible example of how one person can make a difference. A video recording of his talk can be found here.


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