For The Catholic Messenger
After years of fighting alongside American troops to combat ISIS in the Middle East, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Kurdish soldiers, recent events have flipped the Kurdish-American alliance on its head.
American troops have left the area of Syria that the jihadist organization once controlled, leaving the Kurdish people there alone to defend themselves against forces from neighboring Turkey whose government views them as terrorists. The Kurds are faced with a massive humanitarian crisis and a battle for their very survival. The Kurdish people are an ethnic group totaling millions of people who mainly inhabit a mountainous region along the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.
To show solidarity with the Kurdish people, the Diocese of Davenport, One Human Family QCA, Progressive Action for the Common Good and Quad Cities Interfaith are joining forces to offer “A Prayer and Reflection Vigil: Standing with the Kurds in Crisis,” beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf, Iowa. This free event is open to all.
The idea for a holding a community response to this crisis arose during a One Human Family members meeting last week.
“Wanting whatever we did to be a cooperative effort with the other Quad Cities social justice organizations, we brought it to the Quad Cities Interfaith Faith Leaders Caucus. All felt that we needed to do a vigil and do it soon, considering how quickly events are taking place. A planning committee was formed with representatives of each of the sponsoring organizations and the vigil was set for this Sunday,” says Rabbi Henry Karp, co-founder of One Human Family.
By inviting members of the Quad Cities community to come together in prayer and reflection, “we can show that we are standing with the Kurdish people who have become the victims of attempted genocide. We call upon our government to honor its alliance with the Kurds, defend them in their time of need and demonstrate the humanitarian values which are the hallmarks of America. There is power in numbers, so we ask everyone to join us for this important vigil,” Rabbi Karp says.