Interfaith Leaders Denounce Discriminatory North Carolina Law

On Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2013

Contact: Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team

Samantha@westendstrategy.com; office (202) 776-7700 cell: (202) 215-9260

 

Interfaith Leaders Denounce Discriminatory North Carolina Law

WASHINGTON – In response to the passage of a North Carolina law that would prohibit state courts from considering foreign law, Christina Warner, Campaign Director of Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values, denounced the new law.

Today, on behalf of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a national campaign comprised of 29 religious, faith-based and interfaith organizations, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, committed to fighting anti-Muslim discrimination, Warner issued the following statement:

“United States federal and state laws are designed to protect all Americans equally.  In contrast, anti-foreign law bills stem from the anti-Shariah movement which intends to exclude American Muslims from equal protection before the law, and in doing so, these bills compromise the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause for Americans of all faiths.  In seeking to sanction discrimination against American Muslims, North Carolina’s new law calls into question how people of faith from all traditions will be treated before courts, should their religious traditions impact family contracts such as marriages or divorces.  It is a clear example of how compromising religious freedom for any community compromises it for all.

That this “foreign law” legislation continues the exclusionary intent of the anti-Shariah legislation is indicated by the discriminatory rhetoric attributed to some of the bill’s supporters.  Those who would mischaracterize Islamic law and practices should be deterred from seeking to preserve such prejudices in the laws fo our land, not supported, as North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has done by declining to veto this discriminatory legislation.  Inaccurate, fear-based rhetoric can harm not just Muslims, but people of all faiths – and this law sets a dangerous precedent, not just for North Carlinians, but for people across the United States.

Our laws should serve to protect all Americans, not contribute to a divisiveness America has been struggling to overcome.”

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a national coaltion of 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 ofthe Qur’an in Florida. Shoulder-to-Shoulder supports faith communities in challening anti-Muslim sentiment by promoting peace and mutual understanding.

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.  Founded in November 2010 by more than 20 national religious groups, Shoulder-to-Shoulder works locally and nationally to offer strategies for and support to efforts to address anti-Muslim sentiment.

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