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Services for Fallen Journalist Pearl to Bring Faiths Together

Services for Fallen Journalist Pearl to Bring Faiths Together

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Interfaith memorial services will be held in major cities around the globe over the next few days to mark the anniversary of the slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan, in January 2002 while researching links between Pakistani extremists and terrorist Richard Reid, who was later convicted of trying to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb. A grisly videotape received Feb. 21 by U.S. diplomats showed Pearl's murder.

Pearl, chief of the Journal's South Asia bureau, was raised in the San Fernando Valley and went to Stanford University.

The memorial services are in keeping with the Jewish custom of yahrzeit, which calls for remembrance on the anniversary of a person's death, Pearl's father, Judea Pearl, said Wednesday.

Services have been scheduled at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on Thursday; at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York on Sunday; and at Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto on Monday. Other services are planned in London, Paris and Jerusalem.

"We have suggested that every community that wishes to celebrate this event would invite another synagogue or church or temple of different faith to join them in the memorial because that would be so characteristic of Danny's spirit," Judea Pearl said.

"He was always inclusive and made new connections and new friends and tried to make dialogues between people of different backgrounds."

Judea Pearl said one of the main points of the interfaith services was to show his son's killers that their anti-Semitic crime has brought people of different religions together.

"Here we are, people of different faiths who would not normally meet, speaking together and taking a stand against the hatred that is now on the uprise in the world," said Judea Pearl, a computer science professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Four militants were convicted in July in Pearl's slaying. During their trial, Pearl's dismembered body was found by police in a shallow grave near an Islamic religious school in Karachi.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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