In Humanitarian Gesture Meant to ‘Help the Healing Process,’ California Mosque Hosts Parents of Fallen IDF Soldier Whose Body Is Still Held by Hamas
The recent hosting by a California mosque of the parents of a fallen IDF soldier whose body is still held by Hamas was a “humanitarian gesture” meant to “help the healing process,” a mosque official told The Algemeiner on Monday.
“We’re American Muslims and it was an appropriate thing for us to do,” Mohammed Akbar Khan — the director of public relations and interfaith outreach at the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City — said of last week’s visit by Simha and Leah Goldin, the father and mother of the late Lt. Hadar Goldin, who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge in August 2014.
“When you have bereaved parents, we don’t get into political issues,” Khan stated. “For the parents, they lost a son and they want to get closure. It could be any parent on any issue. Any house of God is a house of healing. We’re all one human family.”
“We have a moral duty to show kindness, love and affection to parents who lost their son and would like to see their son come home and have a proper ceremony,” he continued.
In a video he published showing the meeting with the Goldins, Khan said, “It is very clear in Islam that when a person passes away or is killed, the body has to return to the ground as soon as possible. And that’s how the soul returns back home to the creator. And it’s a major sin in Islam if you prevent that.”
“God owns us all,” he went on to say. “God owns your son’s soul and God wants that soul to come home to him.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — accompanied the Goldins during their mosque visit.
“It was very special,” he told The Algemeiner.
In the video, Leah Goldin said, “For me, visiting the mosque was really a great experience, deep excitement.”
She continued, “We have so much to share…I mean, why fight? As we were told by the imam, the basic values of the Koran are similar in a way to our Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible).”
Also last week, as reported by The Algemeiner, the Goldins met in New York City with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
Hadar Goldin is one of two IDF soldiers — along with Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul — who were killed during Operation Protective Edge and whose bodies have not been returned to Israel by Hamas.
Watch the video of the Goldins’ mosque visit below: