Faith leaders support Cordoba House, Denounce Anti-Muslim rhetoric
Rather than portraying the Cordoba House/Park51 Islamic Center and mosque in Manhattan as what it actually is — a center promoting interfaith relations, combating extremism, and offering community programs for people of all religious backgrounds — opponents of the proposed complex such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have stirred up a great deal of publicity by labeling it an “insult” and a “provocation.”
Today more than 40 prominent, diverse faith leaders and religion scholars in New York and across the country issued a statement calling the rhetoric of pundits like Palin and Gingrich exactly what it is — an appeal to “xenophobia and religious bigotry.” The statement, signed by leaders ranging from Simon Greer of Jewish Funds for Justice to National Council of Churches President Peg Chemberlin to Salam Al-Marayati, President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, argues that Cordoba House opponents “would make a more lasting contribution to our nation if they stopped issuing inflammatory statements and instead helped inspire a civil dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims committed to a future guided by the principles of compassion, justice and peace.” The entire statement and list if signatories, including numerous rabbis, is here.
Faithful America – Faith in Public Life’s online community of more than 100,000 people of diverse faiths – is also standing up to anti-Muslim sentiment and fierce opposition to proposed mosques in communities across the country by circulating and signing a petition to honor the “many contributions of American Muslims toward global peace” and denounce bigotry and limits on religious freedom as a betrayal of American values. The petition will be sent not only to American Muslim leaders, but also to Gingrich and Palin. Sign it here.