South Bay Interfaith
Relations with Muslims
Recent increases in anti-Muslim rhetoric, demonstrations, and even personal attacks across the country have led local religious leaders to join together in statements of support and appreciation.
ING Interfaith Statement for One America
A Call to Action for Deeper Understanding & Mutual Respect
As community and religious leaders representing people of many faiths in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are deeply troubled by the current wave of bigotry and hate directed at Islam and Muslims in the United States.
We recognize that there is a wide range of strongly held views about the location selected for the Islamic Center in New York near Ground Zero and that disagreement with the decision is not tantamount to attacking a religious group. At the same time, there is a growing pattern of anti-mosque protests and other actions directed at American Muslims in many parts of the country that aim to demonize Islam in the name of protecting America from Muslim radicals and extremists.
We condemn these attempts to vilify an entire religious community and affirm that such bigotry has no place in a nation committed to religious liberty for people of all faiths and none. Fear mongering, scapegoating, and intimidating a religious group does not protect our nation against the real threats that it faces, but rather threatens our pluralistic democracy that is a beacon to those who seek freedom from oppression. As a nation of immigrants, we continue to see our diversity as one of the great strengths of our country.
A Public Letter Regarding Christian-Islamic Relations in the U.S.
As Christians and Americans, we are called to speak out against the recent increase in hateful language aimed at Islam, one of the world's largest faith communities.
We condemn calls to burn Islam's holy book, the Koran. God calls us to speak the truth in love, and there is nothing loving or compassionate about burning another religion's holy scriptures.
We also wish to address the controversy that has arisen around the construction of Cordova House near the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
It has been suggested that Muslims should not build any sort of spiritual center in that neighborhood, since to do so might be troubling to people who associate Islam with the destruction of the World Trade Center. But this argument is based on false premises, and we should not allow unfounded prejudice to lead us astray. Blaming all Muslims for what happened on September 11 is like blaming all residents of Upstate New York because Timothy McVeigh participated in the bombing of the Oklahoma Federal Building. We should not bear false witness against our neighbors in this way. Instead, we should join our Muslim brothers and sisters who reject violence and terrorism, and we should refuse to allow the acts of a misguided few to drive us all into fear and mistrust.