Press Release: Prayer of the Oppressed Brings Southside Communities Together, Feb. 14

Press Release: Prayer of the Oppressed Brings Southside Communities Together, Feb. 14

Prayer of the Oppressed Brings Southside Communities Together

(CHICAGO, IL, 2/8/16) – On Sunday, February 14th, members of Chicago’s Muslim community will gather with other concerned citizens in Hyde Park to perform a communal recitation of The Prayer of the Oppressed in memory of those who have lost their lives to the city’s chronic violence. The event is being hosted by the Zakat Foundation of America and Sirat Chicago at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, and will raise funds to provide programs and resources for the communities hardest hit by the city’s worst ongoing tragedy.

WHAT: Group Prayer Recitation For Victims of Violence in Chicago

WHO: Southside Muslim community and concerned citizens

WHEN: 2:30 pm, February 14, 2016

WHERE: First Unitarian Church, 5650 S Woodlawn, Chicago, IL 60637

Written by the Muslim scholar Muḥammad b. Nāṣir al-Darʿī in the 17th century, The Prayer of the Oppressed is a plea to end cycles of violence through renewed understanding, humility, and compassion. The event hopes to use the 350 year-old poem to bring together citizens from different communities on Chicago’s south side and direct attention to the need for real, lasting solutions that recognize the roots of violence in conditions of oppression. The event is open to the public and all are welcome to join.
In the face of inaction by city authorities on the issue, local communities are taking it upon themselves to raise public awareness and direct efforts toward a genuine solution. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. insisted that any nonviolent campaign requires both self-purification as well as direct action,” said Amal Ali, Outreach Manager for Zakat Foundation of America. “That is why we are organizing this communal gathering of reflection to turn our palms upwards in hopeful prayer while still urging continued action to uproot violence from Chicago’s distressed communities.”
Though it represents but one part of that much larger campaign, spreading the message of The Prayer renews the call for faith communities and all citizens to reconnect with the roots of their religious traditions in social justice and compassion for those who are suffering, wherever and whoever they are.
CONTACT: Zakat Foundation of America Public Relations Coordinator, Jamie Merchant, 708-233-0555, [email protected]
Founded in 2001, Zakat Foundation of America helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. Zakat Foundation of America’s mission is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world by conducting humanitarian assistance programs in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit

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