In the state where 911 occurred seven years earlier a community has placed the “Islamic symbol” star and crescent in a Christmas display. I for one, welcome the attitude behind the “inclusion”, that law abiding citizens of any and all religious faiths are welcomed in the town of Armonk, NY, but don’t think that necessarily means having your religious symbol displayed during the prominent holiday of another religion.
“We’ve decided to go in the direction of being all-inclusive,” said Reese Berman, supervisor of the town of 11,000, about 30 miles north of New York City and the site of IBM headquarters.
Armonk’s display is centered on a gazebo in a towering pine grove. One tree about 11 feet tall, strung with white lights, has been placed inside. A silver menorah is a few steps to the right of the cobblestone walk leading to the gazebo. The bright-white crescent and star are on 6-foot-high stanchions to the left.
Craig Mason, 63, a retired town resident who was walking past the display on a rainy morning last week, said he had no strong religious feelings but felt the display “says nice things about the people here, about how we welcome everyone.”
He found the star and crescent symbol “very attractive in its simplicity.”
Judy Wesley, director of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, said she was raised Catholic and “in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with having a spirit of inclusion. Jesus Christ himself would have gathered everyone around him.”
To the good people of all faiths everywhere, I salute you for your tolerance and good citizenship.