December 7, 2015
To the editor:
I am writing on behalf of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts. Our “council” includes representatives from the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Unitarian and Baha’i faith communities.
We are writing to express our concern over recent comments from presidential candidates, particularly Mr. Trump, and members of the U S. Congress about Muslims in America. The recent attacks in Paris and again in San Bernardino have amplified anti-Muslim rhetoric. It has been suggested that Muslims are not reliable and patriotic Americans and that all Muslims should be denied entry to the United States.
We object most strongly. Muslims are our friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members; they participate in charitable events in our communities, work with us in countless ways to improve society and bring many blessings to all of our lives.
Disrespect for Muslims is an affront to all of us. America is built on the promise of free and diverse religious practice based on respectful dialogue. All of us are proud to call America our home. Let us be thankful for the religious diversity of our Nation. We cannot tolerate accusatory and hate-filled speech directed at the Muslim community. Any candidate who abuses his or her moment in the spotlight by speaking disrespectfully of Muslims will not get our vote!
Dr. Martin J. Pion