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CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly: Speaking at the 2020 Interfaith Memorial Service in St. Petersburg

By BY HOLLY KESTENIS, Staff Writer, For The Weekly Challenger, On 27 January 2020, Read Original
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2020 Interfaith Memorial Service

ST. PETERSBURG — Held last Sunday at First Baptist of St. Petersburg, the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Memorial Service was themed “Vision for Humanity in 2020.” 

Newly elected City Councilwoman Deborah Figgs-Sanders presided over the afternoon while Interfaith Tampa Bay president Rev. Doral Pulley and First Baptist of St. Petersburg Associate Pastor John Rice offered opening remarks.

Civil rights attorney Hassan Shibly headlined this year’s memorial service, speaking on defusing antagonism, ignorance and distrust through educating one another to share a common humanity. 

 “Our diversity is a gift from the most high,” he said. “[There are] many nations and tribes, not so that you hate each other, but so that you learn from each other.”

Shibly emphasized that it is not one’s outward form, nor their wealth or titles held that determines success, but instead the ability to take action and to help those in need that determines self-worth. By uplifting humanity, fighting for the oppressed, and striving to serve the purpose for which we were created, people of all races can achieve the goal set forth by Dr. King so many years ago. 

“An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a white person have any superiority over a black person, nor a black person any superiority over a white person,” explained Shibly, who is also the chief executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida.

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