Month: June 2017
A group of leaders have been gathering information and discussing the best response we can make to the June 10 event by “ACT for America!” on Saturday, June 10. After many days of discussions by phone, email and in-person meetings we decided not call for faith leaders to make a public demonstration on Saturday.
Key to this decision, was listening to our Muslim leaders and asking them what would best support them.
There are several reasons for this decision:
- After the Portland events last week, tensions are very high
- We have learned that “ACT” may be bringing militia members in from out of town
- We have learned that several groups are planning a response, some of which seem intent on verbal confrontation with “ACT” members that could lead to other forms of confrontation
- The location is Victory Steinbrueck Park – a cramped location to the north of Pike Place Market will not provide enough separation and avenues of egress if violence breaks out
- We desire to convey a message of respect, solidarity, values of love of neighbor and the American values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion as well as truthful messages about Islam and American Muslims and the response of other faith traditions to attempts by some to scapegoat Muslims
- If there are verbal clashes, negative messages will get out on the media, not our positive, values-based messages
- It is our concern that any verbal confrontation or physical violence will impact our Muslim neighbors – that it may be used by “ACT”, other hate groups and even politicians to justify bullying of Muslims
What We Are Doing:
- A group of interfaith leaders are going to post signs with “WE STAND WITH OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS” all over Pike Place Market on Friday.
- We have a number of letters to the editors going in to major papers from faith leaders.
- We have created a media advisory for all news outlets and have made leaders available for interviews. Here is one interview: http://www.king5.com/news/local/local-religious-leaders-denounce-upcoming-alt-right-rally/446424361
- We are planning peaceful demonstrations at cities throughout western Washington State. We will be sending you this information as soon as we have determined the best date. We will be looking for local leaders who can coordinate these peaceful demonstrations.
What You Can Do:
- Pray for our nation, that we might uphold and cherish one another, and find ways to honor our common humanity and the worth and value of every faith and non-faith tradition.
- Remember that many of the people who are a part of these hate groups are captivated by fear and misinformation. God is calling us to peaceful, loving and courageous responses to them.
- Print signs and distribute them to people to put in their windows, places of business and cars. Here is a link where you can download a sign: https://www.neighborsinfaith.org/2017/06/07/we-stand-with-our-muslim-neighbors/
- Attend an Iftar (breaking of the fast) this Ramadan. Here is a link to many opportunities: http://fanwa.org/news/
- Check out these two websites and share them with your friends:
- Begin talking to your community of faith about participating in a “We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors” event in the coming months.
Lastly, as people of faith we believe that while fear, tribalism and division is a part of today’s reality, that God is bringing healing and new creation to our world – faith is living into God’s future today. Take the time you need from the onslaught of today’s “bad news” to rest in the ultimate good news of God’s future of salaam, shalom and peace.
Please post this sign in your home window, place of business and your car to show your solidarity with our American Muslim sisters and brothers. Please share these posters with your faith community, community organization, family and friends.
It will print well in either color or black and white.