Dozens of groups urging mayors nationwide to disavow anti-Muslim marches

A message of welcome is displayed at the Baitul Aman House of Peace Mosque in Meriden (File)

(WTNH) – A coalition of 129 national and local organizations are calling on mayors nationwide to disavow anti-Muslim marches scheduled to take place in cities nationwide on Saturday, June 10th.

The letters call on the mayors to embrace “values of pluralism, diversity, and liberty for all while firmly rejecting the forces of hate and bigotry that seek to divide us.” A series of anti-Muslim marches are being held in 29 cities to coincide with the Ramadan holiday and are being hosted by a hate group called ACT for America. As documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Facebook pages for the marches include violent and racist rhetoric.

Related: Controversial rally coming to Waterbury

ACT for America’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, regularly vilifies Muslims, claiming that practicing Muslims cannot be loyal to the United States. Both she and ACT have had a long history of promoting policies at the federal and state levels intended to manufacture fear of Muslims. The letters cite vast increases in hate crimes against Muslims and urge the mayors of these cities to reject the bigotry of these marches, assure the safety of their constituents, and issue statements condemning the marches happening in their cities.

The full letter and a list of all of its signers for all cities is below:

June 8, 2017

Dear Mayor,

We write to ask you to join us in publicly embracing our nation’s core values of pluralism, diversity, and liberty for all while firmly rejecting the forces of hate and bigotry that seek to divide us.

As you may be aware, ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, has called for a protest in your city as part of a coordinated series of protests in over 20 cities across the nation on June 10th. Timed during the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims around the world fast during the daylight hours, these protests have been disingenuously branded “March Against Sharia” and explicitly target Muslims at a time when hatred and bigotry has swept the nation.

ACT’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, regularly vilifies Muslims, claiming that practicing Muslims cannot be loyal to the United States. She also once said that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim” and that Muslims are a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society.” Both she and ACT have had a long history of promoting policies at the federal and state levels intended to manufacture fear of Muslims, and the group has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

We are deeply concerned about the type of message that these protests send to the American public and to the good people in your city–that it is acceptable to vilify people simply because of their faith.

Between 2014 and 2015, FBI data indicates that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67%. Bias-motivated violence continues to target Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and a number of other communities. Just this year alone there have been numerous murders of individuals who are Muslim or were targeted based on anti-Muslim bigotry, regardless of their religion. In addition, several mosques around the country have been targeted by arson. Negative misperceptions of Muslims have also resulted in children being the target of bullying and harassment across the country–one poll conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding suggests that more than forty percent of Muslim children in grades K-12 are bullied because of their faith.

Now, more than ever, we must come together and support one another from viewpoints and groups that seek to divide us.

We, the undersigned national and local civil rights, faith-based, and community organizations, ask that you use your voice as an elected representative of your city to reject bigotry. We urge you to issue an official statement to reiterate to the people of your city that every person is welcome and has the right to feel secure regardless of how they worship, where they’re from, or who they love. Furthermore, we ask that you recognize that American Muslims have been an essential part of America’s fabric since before our nation was founded. The members of your community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, must be reassured that bigotry, hatred, and prejudice against any individual or group based on their faith, gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, sexual orientation, or disability status will not be tolerated.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can work closely with you in the future to positively engage all communities.

Thank you in advance for your partnership and principled leadership.

Sincerely,

#GetOrganizedBrooklyn

18MR.org

A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

ACLU of Michigan

Advocates for Youth

All Peoples Christian Church

American Friends Service Committee

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Amnesty International USA

Anti-Defamation League

The Arab American Association of NY

Arab American Institute

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA

Auburn Theological Seminary

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Bend the Arc Southern California

Brazilian Worker Center Inc.

CAIR-MN

California Immigrant Policy Center

Center for New Community

Chapman University, Office of Church Relations

Church World Service

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Colorado African Organization (CAO)

Colorado Muslim Speakers Bureau

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA)

Council on American-Islamic Relations-Kansas (CAIR-Kansas)

CAIR San Francisco Bay Area

CREDO

Dominican Sisters of Houston

Eden Area Interfaith Council

El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos

Emgage

Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)

Faith in Public Life

Franciscan Action Network

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice

GSA Network

Harvard Islamic Society

Hispanic Federation

Hollaback Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hollaback!

Hollaback! Detroit

Hollaback! Seattle

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters – JPIC – USA

ICNA Council for Social Justice

ILEARN

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health

Indivisible Northville

Interfaith Worker Justice

International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center

International Rescue Committee in Denver

Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati

Islamic Center of San Diego

Islamic Networks Group (ING)

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona

Jewish Community Relations Council

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston

Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago

Jewish Voice for Peace – Cleveland

Jewish Voice for Peace – Denver

Jewish Voice for Peace- Indiana

Jewish Voice for Peace – New Haven

Jewish Voice for Peace – Northern New Jersey

Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle, NC

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Marin Interfaith Council

Michigan Muslim Community Council

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

Muslim Advocates

Muslim Alliance of Indiana

Muslim Community Network

Muslim Justice League

Muslim Public Affairs Council

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza

National Disaster Interfaiths Network

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Immigration Law Center

National Iranian American Council

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS)

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates

OneAmerica

Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans – PANA

Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Physicians for Policy Action

Poligon Education Fund

PRC

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Presbyterian Church (USA) Washington Office of Public Witness

Refugee Action Coalition of Colorado

Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Shoulder to Shoulder

SIREN

South Asian Americans Leading Together

South Bay Chapter of Bend the Arc

Southern Poverty Law Center

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning

Syracuse Cultural Workers

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Revolutionary Love Project

The Sikh Coalition

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

Together We Rise CT

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Association

Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice

Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

UURISE – Unitarian Universalist Refugee & Immigrant Services & Education

Veterans for American Ideals

We Belong Together

Welcoming Gainesville and Alachua County

Women In Islam Inc

Women’s March Michigan

Workers’ Center of Central New York

 

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