BY JESSICA JENKINS
TED Talks presents this conversation with Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi, mothers who formed an unlikely friendship in the wake of unspeakable loss.
"Phyllis Rodriguez is an artist, a teacher and a social justice activist. On September 11, 2001, her son Greg died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Rodriguez and her husband wrote an open letter, "Not in Our Son's Name," calling on President Bush to oppose a military response in Afghanistan.
"Aicha el-Wafi is an activist with the French feminist group Ni Putes Ni Soumise, working with Muslim women. Her son, Zacarias Moussaoui, was tried in relation to the attacks on US soil, and faced the possibility of execution if convicted.
"In November 2002, Phyllis Rodriguez and several other relatives of victims of the attacks were invited to meet Aicha el-Wafi. Rodriguez and el-Wafi have since appeared together throughout Europe and the US, telling their story of reconciliation and forgiveness.
'Our suffering is equal. Yet I'm treated with sympathy; she is treated with hostility.'
- Phyllis Rodriguez, on Aicha el-Wafi"
As people of faith, we believe in the power of forgiveness, mercy, and transformation. Yet despite the testimony of numerous clergy, theology professors, and her two children pleading for their mothers’ life, the Board of Pardons and Paroles condemned Kelly to death.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, as essential as water and electricity, and adopted strong protections to keep the Internet open and free for this and future generations.
Right now the Internet is under attack, and I'm in the fight to save it. There's a big vote this Thursday and if people like us speak up now, we can make the moral case for why we need a free and open Internet.
After living in Sanctuary for 58 days in Philadelphia, Angela was granted a stay of deportation by our local ICE director.1 Now, she’s using her freedom to make sure no one in Sanctuary is left behind.
In the midst of so much pain and suffering, let us stand with our Muslim American brothers and sisters. Please join me in offering a prayer or message in solidarity.
Big news! The New York Times and Newsweek just covered the story of Arturo fighting his deportation in Sanctuary in Denver.