—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
(NEW YORK, NY, 9/20/2010) –- A number of local and national American Muslim leaders today issued a call for “A Week of Dialogue” in October to combat bigotry and promote understanding and religious tolerance in civil society.
The call follows a summit of Muslim leaders in New York City held on Sunday, September 19, to discuss concerns stemming from opposition to the building of the Park51 community center in lower Manhattan and to mosques elsewhere in the country, as well as concerns about the rising level of anti-Muslim bigotry in American society.
In a joint statement released today, the Muslim summit participants said: “We stand for the constitutional right of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations.
“Also, we stand against the racism, hatred, religious intolerance and ethnic bigotry, directed at Islam and American Muslims.
“We call upon local and national elected officials to join their colleagues in denouncing and rejecting inflammatory rhetoric that endangers the lives of Muslim Americans.
“Further, we call for a nationwide “Week of Dialogue” around October 22, 23 and 24, during which Muslim leaders will conduct open houses at their places of worship. It is our hope and desire that these events will help to allay tensions in civil society caused by the Park51 controversy and will build bridges of understanding that unite and strengthen our nation.”
Imam Al-Amin A. Latif, The Majlis Ash-Shura of NY; Imam Muhammad Majid; Vice President Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); Dr. Zahid Bukhari, President, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Dr. Ahmed Elbendary, President, Muslim American Society (MAS); Mr. Nihad Awad, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Ameer, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA); Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman, The Fiqh Council of North America; Imam Al-Tayyab Abuel Yamaan, Chairman, North American Imams Federation; Imam Mahdi Bray; Executive Director, MAS Justice & Peace Foundation; Imam Asim A. Rashid, Amir of Majlis Philadelphia; Mr. Haris Tarin, Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Mr. M. Salim Akhtar, Executive Director, American Muslim Taskforce (AMT); Ms. Aisha Al-Adawiya, Founder & Exec. Director, Muslim Women in Islam, Inc.; Mr. Muhammad Nasir, Executive Director, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago; Mr. Abdul-Malik Mujahid, Chairman, The Parliament of World Religions
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