Seattle Muslims, Shi'i and Sunni, Respond to Sectarian Violence in Iraq with Prayers for Unity

February 25, 2006

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On February 25, 2006 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, "About 80 Muslims of different sects gathered for prayer and a sermon Friday in Seattle, responding to sectarian violence in Iraq with a call for common worship. Muslims in Washington, like those in the rest of the world, are predominantly Sunni and generally worship in mosques separate from Shiite Muslims. But the bombing of one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, followed by attacks on Sunni mosques, has some Seattle-area Muslims searching for unity. 'It's probably the first solidarity prayer in the whole area that I'm aware of,' said Jafar 'Jeff' Siddiqui, who helped arrange the service at the Islamic School of Seattle, where he is chairman. He estimated that a quarter of the participants were Shiites, but he couldn't tell for sure, even though he is familiar with many Muslims as a member of the group American Muslims of Puget Sound. The differences between Muslims in the United States are less than those overseas, Siddiqui said, and one typically doesn't ask another Muslim to which sect he or she belongs. To illustrate his point, Siddiqui said a good friend once told him that he was 'the only Shiite I know.' Siddiqui is Sunni."