D.C. interfaith summit denounces anti-Muslim bigotry


(JTA) — An interfaith summit of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders denounced anti-Muslim bigotry.

In a statement released by the group, which represented the majority of the country’s Jews, Muslims and Christians, participants announced that they came together Tuesday in Washington, D.C., “to denounce categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community.”

The emergency summit was called by the Islamic Society of North America and co-organized by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Representatives from the Reconstructionist movement, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding founded by Rabbi Marc Schneier and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella organization of more than 125 Jewish community relations councils and 14 national agencies, also were in attendance.

Summit participants included the national leadership of the mainstream Protestant, evangelical Christian, Baptist and Catholic churches, as well as Muslim and Jewish leaders.

Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center is among several in the group scheduled to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday to coordinate Muslim outreach efforts with the Obama administration.

The group called upon religious clergy to join efforts to denounce anti-Muslim bigotry and hate violence, saying “leaders of local congregations have a special responsibility to teach with accuracy, fairness and respect about other faith traditions.”

Also Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League announced the formation of the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques to monitor and respond to anti-Muslim bigotry related to efforts to build mosques across the United States. The coalition is expected to begin functioning in about two weeks, according to ADL national director Abraham Foxman.


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