Faith Leaders Urge Politicians to Reject Islamophobia

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick greets Former ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid during a press conference pushing national political parties to reject anti-Muslim bigotry in the elections at National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on April. 14, 2016. (Religion News Service photo by Aysha Khan)
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick greets Former ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid during a press conference pushing national political parties to reject anti-Muslim bigotry in the elections at National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on April. 14, 2016. (Religion News Service photo by Aysha Khan)

Muslim leaders have joined with dozens of interfaith allies in calling on the Democratic and Republican national committees to formally commit to protecting religious minorities on the campaign trail.

Previous campaigns have targeted candidates, but 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 aiming for the party heads.

“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 14).

In letters to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the group called on them to explicitly and unambiguously commit to combating discrimination against Muslims and reinforcing religious freedom in their party platforms.

“The parties have a job to patrol their neighborhoods,” said the Rev. Ron Stief, chair of the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign. “What are their candidates saying? What are their delegates saying? What’s being written into the party platform? They need to be more concerned about patrolling their own neighborhoods than they are … about patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.”

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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Aysha Khan

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