Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Mainstream Christian denominations condemn rising tide of Islamophobia

Leaders of some three dozen mainstream U.S. religious denominations condemned what many commentators have called a rising tide of Islamophobia touched off by the recent controversy over the construction of a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan.

“As religious leaders in this great country, we have come together in our nation’s capitol to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community,” the group declared in a statement.

“We are profoundly distressed and deeply saddened by the incidents of violence committed against Muslims in our community, and by the desecration of Islamic houses of worship,” the statement continued, adding, “We stand by the principle that to attack any religion in the United States is to do violence to the religious freedom of all Americans.”

The group, which included national leaders of the Muslim and Jewish communities, as well as from the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, singled out the threat by one Florida church to publicly burn copies of the Qu’ran to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Richard Cizik, a former head of the National Association of Evangelicals and currently president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, was particularly harsh toward those “mainly conservative Christians …who are responding with open bigotry and hatred” toward fellow citizens because of their faith. Not only are they rejecting the Constitution’s first amendment protecting freedom of religion, but they “bring dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ”, he said.

He also noted that the “principles that protect Muslims today will protect Christians and Jews tomorrow.”

IPS

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One Response to “Mainstream Christian denominations condemn rising tide of Islamophobia”

  1. Amidst the “bad news”, “good news” is all the more heart-warming, such as this CNN clip relative to the post:

    The blue Chevy Cobalt broke down amid the mountains of Montana in an area where there was no cell phone reception. The Muslims in the car, on a cross-country journey for the holy month of Ramadan, approached a bushy-bearded fisherman.

    It would be another test of a question they wondered when they first set off from New York three weeks earlier: Is America still the accepting nation that embraced our forebears or has it reached a new level of intolerance?

    Far from the media frenzy dominating headlines, from the so-called “ground zero mosque” to a pastor’s planned Quran burning, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq traveled more than 13,000 miles into the heart of America over the last month. They began in New York, headed south and then cut across the country to California before making their way back, ending today in Michigan in the nation’s largest Muslim community.

    The fisherman in Montana became the embodiment of their trip — Ali and Tariq were embraced nearly everywhere they went.

    “After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I’m happy to know that it does,” said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. “It’s really made America feel like home to me in a way that I’ve never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there. I’ve seen it! And I’m seeing it still.”

    When he approached the fisherman after their car broke down, Tariq says, he didn’t know how he’d be received. He asked if he could hitch a ride to town and the fisherman “happily does it.” When the man asked Tariq what he was doing in Montana, he told him about their visiting 30 mosques across the States.

    “And he doesn’t flinch and doesn’t get worried,” Tariq said. “For me, it was like, ‘Wow! That America still exists.’ ”

    Tariq said their blog also helps the rest of America realize “you have to accept Muslims are here in America to stay, and we’ve been here for awhile. Even the most bigoted person has to accept that.”


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