National Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Heinous Murder of U.N. Officials

On Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2011

Contact: Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications; (202) 265-3000; (202) 641-6216©

WASHINGTON – Leaders of Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values, a national campaign of senior religious leaders and organizations representing Christians, Jews and Muslims to promote tolerance and an end to anti-Muslim bigotry, released the following statement today condemning the murder of numerous U.N. officials in Afghanistan.

“The deadly attack in Afghanistan on Friday was a cowardly act of violence that we strongly condemn. We believe the perpetrators of these heinous murders should be brought to justice.

“Reports that the violence in Afghanistan is connected to the burning of the Qur’an in Florida last month are deeply troubling. While there is clearly no place for the violence we have seen this week, which displayed a disturbing disregard for the value of human life, there is also no place in any of our faiths for the desecration of holy texts or ritual objects. This is a sad example of the consequences of the actions of one small group of people. As people of faith we outright reject Qur’an burning and as global citizens we call on the people of Afghanistan to recognize that this is not representative of the sentiment of the American people. We pray that out of this tragedy, members of our local, national and international communities will come together with a spirit of shared concern for the common good, rejecting violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric.”

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is comprised of 25 national religious entities, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. The group consists of the same denominations and faith groups that stood in solidarity on September 7, 2010 to speak out against the rise in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry leading up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the planned burning of the Qur’an in Florida, as well as on March 10, 2011 following Representative Peter King’s (R-NY) hearing on the radicalization of the American Muslim community.

Following the September meeting of this group convened by the Islamic Society of North America, the faith leaders pledged that the religious community across the country would work to end anti-Muslim bigotry and created Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values.

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