Diverse coalition of interfaith leaders urge national political parties to reject anti-Muslim bigotry

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Shoulder to Shoulder — a coalition of 32 religious denominations and organizations, including the Islamic Society of North America and the National Council of Churches — is calling on the Democratic and Republican national committees to formally commit to protecting religious minorities on the campaign trail.

“When we have people whose bigoted, hateful, Islamophobic, racist rhetoric challenges the very principles of American society, when they seek the highest office of the land, we stand sister to sister, brother to brother, shoulder to shoulder, and we say no,” said Rabbi Jonah Pesner of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in a Washington press conference on Thursday, April 14th.

The letters to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz read, in part:

We, the leaders of a number of American religious denominations and faith-based organizations, have been disturbed by the increasingly negative and discriminatory rhetoric this campaign season, and particularly the bigoted rhetoric targeting our Muslim neighbors and community members. We write to urge the DNC to include, in your party platform, an explicit commitment to work against anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination against religious minorities in the United States.

When candidates for the highest office in our nation suggest banning Muslims from the US, or registering Muslim citizens, or surveillance of mosques without warrant, we are compelled to lift our voices collectively to say that this exclusivist vision of America harms us all. As people of faith, we are pained by rhetoric that goes against the convictions of our own religious traditions, and as Americans we are alarmed by the way this discriminatory speech undermines the very ideals of religious freedom and pluralism that each and every one of our religious communities relies upon to thrive in our democracy.

[Read the full text of the letter to the Republican National Committee]

[Read the full text of the letter to the Democratic National Committee]


Rev. Fr. Dimitrios J. Antokas credit Aysha Khan-Religion News Service

Aysha Khan-Religion News Service

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