Ever since the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, hatred and discrimination against American Muslims has been growing. Over the past year, the rhetoric has only gotten louder and more violent. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly. These are also essential American values. Yet across the United States today, we see attempts to prevent the construction of mosques, laws outlawing Sharia law, and the vilification of our Muslim neighbors and friends as un-American. Jewish historical experience remembers that not too long ago, we too were the victims of suspicion and hatred based on our religion and ethnicity. The actions of the few should not condemn the many, and every religion has its teachings both of violence and of peace. Jewish tradition demands that we remember the heart of the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. If one minority can be singled out for congressional hearings or restrictions on places of worship, anyone can be.
These are not American values. These are not Jewish values. It is time to Stand Together in solidarity with the American Muslim community.
T'ruah is part of the growing chorus of interfaith voices speaking out against anti-Muslim bigotry, and promoting acceptance and tolerance We believe that prejudice toward Muslims was a contributing factor that led to U.S. acceptance of torture. We have become a member of "Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values," a coalition of 23 religious organizations that are engaged in efforts to create interfaith understanding and solidarity with Muslims.