Imams and organizational leaders of the Muslim and Somali community in a press conference Sunday August 6 expressed their profound grief over the loss of lives following the tragic collapse of the 1-35W bridge Wednesday, August 1. Imams and organizational leaders of the Muslim and Somali community in a press conference Sunday August 6 expressed their profound grief over the loss of lives following the tragic collapse of the 1-35W bridge Wednesday, August 1. "We offer the American Muslim community's sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all those who died, are missing, or were injured in the tragic collapse of the 1-35W Bridge" said Imam Abdisalam Adam, Director of Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Civic Center. "It is at such times of tragedy and loss that we must all come together to offer support to those who suffered such heartbreaking losses."
Earlier in the week, on the Thursday evening following the tragedy, the Coalition of Black Churches/African American Leadership Summit, in conjunction with the Minnesota State Baptist Convention, held a vigil and prayer service at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church to mourn dead and pray for recovery of the missing and healing of the injured.
Imam Abdisalam Adam announced Muslim community prayer services for victims from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm Friday, August 10, at the Brian Coyle Community Center, 420 - 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis, and called on Imams, public officials, organizational leaders, and the general public to participate and contribute morally and materially to the recovery effort. Blessings and supplications for the victims of the 1-35W Bridge collapse would follow Muslim Friday prayers, he said. "These efforts are both a religious obligation and civic responsibility to console all those affected by the tragic collapse of one of our city's landmarks." "The Qur'an says: "To God we belong and to Him we return" (Qur'an 2:156). We are also hopeful that the missing would be found to provide solace to their relatives. Furthermore, we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured," Adam said.
"We also extend our appreciation to public officials, the first responders, and the citizens of Minnesota for acting promptly to minimize the damage and losses. We are grateful to learn the heroic actions of professionals and ordinary citizens who responded immediately with dedication and sacrifice. These times of trial bring out the best of human nature in realizing our common aspirations and destiny," he said. Adam said the Somali community is particularly affected by the tragedy in important ways:
First, he said, Minneapolis is home to the largest concentration of Somalis in the state, and there are Somalis among the victims of the tragedy. Sadiya Sahal, 23, and her 18-month old daughter, Hanan Mohamed are missing and still unaccounted for, he said. He introduced Sahal's father, Ahmed Sahal Iidle, who spoke softly about his beloved daughter, who was pregnant, and his granddaughter. He said his own grief and sense of loss is implified by the grief he feels as well for others who lost their lives and who those who lost loved ones, friends and neighbors.
Second, Adam said, the 1-35W Bridge is less than a mile away from Cedar - Riverside neighborhood, which serves as the hub of the Somali community in Minnesota. "Many of us drove through the bridge everyday and this certainly a profound loss for all of us. The Muslim community in general and the Somali community in particular are grateful to Minnesota and the Twin Cities for embracing us. We are therefore fully prepared to contribute1n whatever way we can to the healing process in this time of mourning," he said.
The Rev. Randolph Staten, on behalf of the Black Church Coalition, urged community resident to join with Somali civic and religious leaders and communities in providing moral and material support to those affected by the tragic event. He said churches and mosques, community organizations and families have a lot of work to do to respond to the grief and trauma eve