September 11, 2014

A 9/11 Commitment to interfaith Solidarity

Dear Friends,

President Bush, appearing at the Islamic Center of Washington, DC just six days after the 9/11 attack in 2001, reminded the nation that U.S. Muslims are our neighbors and friends.  The President also reminded the nation that this act of violence “violates the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith” and admonished those who would blame Islam for 9/11 that “the face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.”

President Obama, in his address to the nation last night, 13 years later, made it clear to the American people that “ISIL is not Islamic.  No religion condones the killing of innocents.”  Later, the president committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Christian and other religious minorities, including smaller Sunni and Shia groups in the region who are threatened by the violence of ISIL.

On the day of President Obama’s speech, the Muslim community and interfaith friends gathered across the U.S. to condemn ISIS and repudiate its message of radical Islam as a distorted version of the faith.  Faith leaders spoke out in Washington, DC at the National Press Club. They spoke out at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are standing together to embrace their Muslim brothers and sisters by launching an ad campaign to counter Islamophobia.

Both Bush and Obama recognize that wars breed crimes of hate, and perpetrators of hate crimes often use religious identity as a defining characteristic for how they choose their victims, whether in the field of war itself, or in neighborhoods thousands of miles from the conflict zone. Despite our leaders’ calls for respect and understanding, all too often U.S. Muslims have been subject to discrimination, hate speech and violence.  For NRCAT, standing side by side with U.S. Muslims has been, and will continue to be, a key component of our campaign against U.S. torture.
Take Action
Pledge to stand with American Muslims today.  Pledge that as a person of faith, you will:
  1. Become familiar with Muslim, Sikh and other faith groups in your local community.
  2. Host an event or include a reflection in your next service of worship that models the leadership of these two presidents in recognizing the vulnerability of religious minorities and human rights in times of war.
  3. Monitor any local slurs or public commentary against Muslims that in any way links Islam to ISIL and terrorism, and respond.  If you see such examples in the local news, submit a letter to the editor.
  4. Join NRCAT and our Muslim and interfaith partners in continuing to call the U.S. to accountability for torture post-9/11 and join us to ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture does not creep back into the policy, practice or political rhetoric as the effort to combat terror unfolds.
Join NRCAT and many others this 9/11 to stand with U.S. Muslims, for peace and against torture.

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