Please Don’t Hate Me Posted December 10, 2015 by admin@interfaith

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Please Don’t Hate Me

Please don't hate me

The Interfaith Peace Project fully endorses the statement of The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County concerning the inflammatory rhetoric surfacing in the American political arena.  We do so not to be involved in partisan politics but to raise the ethical issues involved.  Since the unfortunate rhetoric involves persons of one particular faith tradition, we cannot and will not be silent.  The Interfaith Peace Project is continuously involved in educational programs and coping with fears, prejudices, and stereotypes in the pursuit of justice and mutual understanding.  Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P, Director of The Interfaith Peace Project, serves on the governing Board of The Interfaith Council and is a contributing author of the statement.

 

The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
December 9, 2015

The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County forthrightly, unequivocally, and clearly condemns the dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric of Mr. Donald J. Trump in regards to Islam and Muslims. We do so not to engage in political campaigns or endorse or not endorse any particular political candidate. We speak out in this instance to defend the rights of Muslims, especially in the United States, to practice their faith in peace and safety. We speak out to defend and uphold the basic human rights and dignity of all people.

Misinformation, inflammatory rhetoric, false and half statements about Muslims and Islam feed the fears of many to think and act against their better nature. Mr. Trump’s statements are being condemned by responsible political and moral leaders across the board. Several points of clarification are necessary:

  • Trump’s rhetoric concerning Muslims and Islam give the impression that Muslims constitute an ethnic group that must be put under surveillance. Muslims are people of any ethnic group, race, or Nation. There are no singular features by which someone “looks like a Muslim”,
  • More and more Americans are tempted to believe that Islam is inherently violent. An accurate survey of history and proper education will emphasize the contrary. Out of context quotes from the Quran without regard to history or circumstance is simply irresponsible,
  • So called Isis and terrorists groups like it are not true, proper, or acceptable expressions of Islam by the standards of Islam,
  • Muslims both locally and around the world have spoken and do speak out against acts of violence and terrorism. On San Bernardino and Paris, to mention two recent incidents, many Muslim leaders and people have stood in solidarity with their communities condemning terrorism in all its forms.
  • The rhetoric of Mr. Trump and those like him is playing right into the hands of terrorist groups and fomenting unwarranted oppression and misconduct against peace-loving Muslims right here in our own community as well as around the country.
  • Our country was founded on the constitutional rights and protections against these oppressive acts of discrimination that include the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and association, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection, due process and probable cause all rooted in our Founding Fathers commitment to unity in diversity and protecting the liberties inherent in the Bill of Rights. Muslim Americans are an integral part of American society and, like all Americans, are entitled to those protections.

Our immediate concern is the well-being and safety of our Muslim brothers and sisters whose lives and rights are being threatened if the rhetoric of Mr. Trump and those like him is not condemned in the name of what is civil, humane, dignified, and responsible.

Politics aside, we call on all people of good will to see their faith traditions as part of the solution not the problem. Our comments today concern the ethical and moral implications of the current political climate. Left unchecked by people of good will, Mr. Trump’s rhetoric will lead to the harm of innocent children, women, and men both now and in future generations.

The Governing Board,
The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County