A Statement of Principles from Faith Leaders of Shoulder to Shoulder
As leaders of a number of religious groups in this country, we are deeply disturbed by recent reports that a growing number of businesses across America have declared themselves to be “Muslim-free zones,” the latest of which is a gun range in Oktaha, Oklahoma. There have been far too many cases like this one across our nation: from Kentucky to New York, New Hampshire to Florida. These declarations are anti-American, and they are an affront to all religious groups in America.
The “Muslim-free Zone” declarations are not simply isolated, singular incidents that target American Muslims. Rather, while these acts banning Muslims from entering business establishments around the country are a particularly blatant act of discrimination, this is only the latest development in an every-growing wave of anti-Muslim discrimination across the country. From local zoning boards trying to block the building of mosques, to city councils and state legislatures using anti-foreign law measures to denigrate local Muslim communities, there has been a campaign to close our communities to American Muslims. The recent organized opposition to the construction of a Muslim cemetery by residents of Farmersville, Texas, highlights the trend of people in towns and cities across the country expressing in public their opposition to treating American Muslims as full and respected citizens of this nation, with equal rights and access to public accommodations.