Solidarity with Muslims

Indiana Center for Middle East Peace stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in these days when their religion is being misrepresented and under attack. We condemn all forms of intolerance and religious bigotry, but we are especially distressed by the increasing number of racist and Islamophobic threats and attacks on Muslims and other people of color in our country. What especially concerns us in recent days are comments, proposals, and policy recommendations from some presidential candidates, politicians, and religious leaders, and some members of the media; and all this while our country supports directly and supplies arms for the invasion of Muslim-majority countries.

We do not subscribe to the notion, put forward by some, that this hate speech by political and religious leaders and media personalities is harmless; we contend that there is a direct, causal relationship between this offensive speech and the rise of attacks on Muslims around the country, that those who speak such hatred, bigotry, and violence are just as dangerous to our country – and the world – as those who perpetuate the violence.

Examples in the last weeks of the real damage of such speech abound: threats to, vandalism, and desecration of mosques, burnings and other forms of defiling the Qur’an, assaults on individual Muslims, and more.

America is richer because of its rich ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity, including members of the Islamic faith. Religious people, indeed all people of good will, both religious and secular, understand that the heart of their religious traditions as well as the ideals upon which our nation was founded teach us to honor the dignity of every human being, to seek “liberty and justice for all.” This begins, at the very least, with properly understanding another’s deeply held beliefs and not fomenting fear, hatred of, and violence toward the other simply for being “other.” Indeed, thinking of someone who’s different as “other” and not as fellow citizen is part of the problem.

We at Indiana Center for Middle East Peace stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and we continue to support the efforts of those in our country and in our state to keep our doors open to all those who seek refuge or a better life in our country.

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