(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, 2017Dear 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,#GetOrganizedBrooklyn18MR.orgA Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice, Lutheran School of Theology at ChicagoACLU of MichiganAdvocates for YouthAll Peoples Christian ChurchAmerican Friends Service CommitteeAmerican-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)Americans United for Separation of Church and StateAmnesty International USAAnti-Defamation LeagueThe Arab American Association of NYArab American InstituteAsian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LAAuburn Theological SeminaryBend the Arc Jewish ActionBend the Arc Southern CaliforniaBrazilian Worker Center Inc.CAIR-MNCalifornia Immigrant Policy CenterCenter for New CommunityChapman University, Office of Church RelationsChurch World ServiceCoalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)Colorado African Organization (CAO)Colorado Muslim Speakers BureauCouncil 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 AreaCREDODominican Sisters of HoustonEden Area Interfaith CouncilEl CENTRO de Igualdad y DerechosEmgageFair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)Faith in Public LifeFranciscan Action NetworkFriends Committee on National LegislationGainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant JusticeGSA NetworkHarvard Islamic SocietyHispanic FederationHollaback Bosnia and HerzegovinaHollaback!Hollaback! DetroitHollaback! SeattleHoly Spirit Missionary Sisters – JPIC – USAICNA Council for Social JusticeILEARNIllinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee RightsImmigrant Service Providers Group/HealthIndivisible NorthvilleInterfaith Worker JusticeInternational Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice CenterInternational Rescue Committee in DenverIslamic Center of Greater CincinnatiIslamic Center of San DiegoIslamic Networks Group (ING)Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)Islamic Speakers Bureau of ArizonaJewish Community Relations CouncilJewish Council for Public AffairsJewish Voice for Peace – BostonJewish Voice for Peace – ChicagoJewish Voice for Peace – ClevelandJewish Voice for Peace – DenverJewish Voice for Peace- IndianaJewish Voice for Peace – New HavenJewish Voice for Peace – Northern New JerseyJewish Voice for Peace – Triangle, NCMassachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy CoalitionMarin Interfaith CouncilMichigan Muslim Community CouncilMultifaith Voices for Peace and JusticeMuslim AdvocatesMuslim Alliance of IndianaMuslim Community NetworkMuslim Justice LeagueMuslim Public Affairs CouncilNational Coalition of Anti-Violence ProgramsNational Council of Jewish WomenNational Council of La RazaNational Disaster Interfaiths NetworkNational Hispanic Media CoalitionNational Immigration Law CenterNational Iranian American CouncilNational Religious Campaign Against TortureNETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social JusticeNew York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS)OCA – Asian Pacific American AdvocatesOneAmericaPartnership for the Advancement of New Americans – PANAPennsylvania Council of ChurchesPennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship CoalitionPhysicians for Policy ActionPoligon Education FundPRCPresbyterian Church (USA)Presbyterian Church (USA) Washington Office of Public WitnessRefugee Action Coalition of ColoradoRefugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)Shoulder to ShoulderSIRENSouth Asian Americans Leading TogetherSouth Bay Chapter of Bend the ArcSouthern Poverty Law CenterSpring Institute for Intercultural LearningSyracuse Cultural WorkersThe Leadership Conference on Civil and Human RightsThe Revolutionary Love ProjectThe Sikh CoalitionThe United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and SocietyTogether We Rise CTT’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human RightsUnion for Reform JudaismUnitarian Universalist AssociationUnitarian Universalist College of Social JusticeUnitarian Universalist Mass Action NetworkUnitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness MinistriesUURISE – Unitarian Universalist Refugee & Immigrant Services & EducationVeterans for American IdealsWe Belong TogetherWelcoming Gainesville and Alachua CountyWomen In Islam IncWomen’s March MichiganWorkers’ Center of Central New York