Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Religious Leaders from All Faiths Stand Shoulder-to-Shoulder to Mourn Death of U.S. Ambassador, Condemn Violence
Contact: Adam Muhlendorf, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
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WASHINGTON – Christina Warner, campaign director of Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values, today issued the statement below mourning the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and other Americans, and condemning the violence in Egypt and Libya:
“We are shocked and deeply saddened at the violent riots and attack in Egypt and Libya. As interfaith leaders, we offer our deepest condolences and prayers for Ambassador Chris Stevens’ family and the families of the others who lost their lives in the horrific attack in Libya.
There is no justification for yesterday’s tragic violence and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, reiterating that the acts of a group of people who promote violence in the name of any religion only perpetuate a cycle of fear and intolerance. Such actions do not accurately reflect the majority of any faith tradition.
As religious leaders, our members have worked for years to form interfaith partnerships that rest in our respective traditions’ imperatives to love our neighbors. It is this work that defines the vast majority of religious practice in the United States, and we will not be defined by those in our midst who would demean the central figure in Islam, whose followers have strengthened our country and our interfaith efforts.
We call on our religious leaders across the country to stand with us to demonstrate that discrimination, hatred and violence is not a part of who we are. In our mourning – for the lives lost to violence in the name of religion, and for the degradation of a great figure and great faith tradition – we must work together for healing.”
Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a national campaign comprised of religious, faith-based and interfaith organizations, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. The group consists of the same national denominations and faith groups that stood in solidarity on September 7, 2010 to speak out against the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment leading up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the planned burning of the Book of Qur’an in Florida. Shoulder-to-Shoulder has since spoken out on multiple occasions to condemn anti-Muslim sentiment and to promote peace and mutual understanding, including in opposition to U.S. Representative Peter King’s (R-N.Y.) hearings on what he called the radicalization of the American Muslim community.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values (www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org) is a national campaign of religious, interfaith and faith-based organizations dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment.