The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Ingrid Mattson: Selma and Salamah: Egyptian Voices For Peace as the Fruit of Justice 7 February , 2011

On March 7, 1965, six hundred peaceful civil rights protesters were brutally attacked by police in Selma, Alabama. In the following weeks, Americans of all faiths came to Selma to rally in support of the human rights and dignity of African-Americans. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of American Judaism’s great theologians said, “When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying.”

Since the beginning of their demonstrations for their own human dignity and rights, Egyptian protesters have been chanting, “salamah.” The linguistic root of Selma and salamah are the same in Semitic languages: s(sh)-l-m and mean “peace.” Like Rabbi Heschel and Dr. King, the Egyptian protesters moved beyond parochial religious identities to come together as Christians, Muslims and secularists to call for a peace that is the fruit of justice in a place where it has been long denied. They have been praying with their feet and with their hands they link together in human solidarity. READ MORE



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