Interfaith Effort Works to Beautify Philadelphia Mosque
Kudos to Mayor Kenny and all the citizens of Philly who stood up and helped.
Mayor Kenney slipped rather quietly into the basement room of Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, where dozens of children and adults, Muslims, Jews, Christians - and probably an atheist or two - were busy wielding paint brushes Saturday, rolling out clay, and cutting and decorating unfired tiles. […]
While the mayor was reluctant to get into politics until he could step outside, the leaders and congregants of Al-Aqsa, the city’s largest mosque, with a largely Arab congregation, were clearly grateful for his presence. […]
Finally outside, standing in front of the still undecorated north wall and surrounded by reporters, he brought up the anti-Catholic rioting of 1840s Philadelphia.
“I will tell you that within a short walking distance from here - you can probably see the steeple - is a Catholic church called St. Michael’s,” he said. “In 1844, over two months of anti-Catholic rioting in Philadelphia, St. Michael’s, St. Augustine, and St. Philip Neri’s were destroyed by people who believed at the time, as they said, that the bloody hand of the pope was going to take over America and they wanted to push the Catholics out because the Irish were coming here….
“Those three churches were burned to the ground with the same type of attitude and maliciousness and evil that is permeating the country today in this national conversation.” […]