Biden makes surprise appearance at Georgetown interfaith forum on peace

By Mark Pattison

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Even though he wasn’t on the program,
Vice President Joe Biden stole the show at a Georgetown University program
promoting peace in wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino,

Laila Brothers, a Georgetown freshman, had just given
a moving reflection about being Muslim and her hijab-wearing mother feeling as
if she had “a target on her back” in the month following the terror

Brothers talked about how Republican presidential
aspirant Donald Trump had suggested that Muslims wear a badge to identify them
to others. She added how she wanted to spare her mother the stress that comes
with wearing the hijab. Her mother’s response: “If they’re talking about Muslims
wearing a badge, I already have a badge. My hijab is my badge.”

While Brothers got applause after her remarks, Biden
walked up onto the stage and greeted some of the other participants at the Dec.
16 forum, billed as “Interfaith Gathering for Solidarity, Understanding
and Peace,” but gave Brothers a warm embrace.

Stepping to the microphone, he said, “My name’s
Joe Biden, and I align myself with the words of this courageous young

Then, using only index cards as reference points, he
spoke for nearly as long as the other speakers combined. Among those speakers
was Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, who was quoted by Biden at one
point during his remarks.

The immigrants who came “in waves” to the
United States, Biden said, told themselves, “We don’t know the language.
We’re not sure if they want us, but let’s go.”

Those immigrants, Biden added, had “the greatest
fortitude, the greatest courage, the greatest sense of optimism.”

– – –

Follow Pattison on
Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

– – –

Copyright © 2015 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article