All people, no matter where we live or who you are, deserve to feel safe and welcomed in their communities. But all too often, the lives of our friends and neighbors are forever changed by hate-based violence.
Three years ago, we witnessed the deadliest antisemitic massacre in American history. On October 27, 2018 a man driven by conspiracies and lies took up arms in order to kill Jewish people and stop new immigrants. He murdered eleven beloved community members at the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha congregation and left communities across the country forever changed.
From Charlottesville to Pittsburgh to El Paso, we’ve seen time and again that hateful lies and conspiracy theories motivate perpetrators to commit violence against specific communities. To protect our friends and neighbors, we must join together across lines of difference to dismantle the machinery that generates fear and divides people against one another.
The principles of diverse religious traditions vehemently condemn hate, summoning us to recognize the dignity of every person and treat them with respect. Religious leaders and people of faith are uniquely positioned to push back against hateful rhetoric by providing an alternative message of love, inclusion, and mutual respect. That is why Interfaith Alliance has launched “Partnering Against Hate,” a grassroots toolkit designed to help guide groups and individuals who want to do more to make their communities safer and more inclusive.
The toolkit starts by laying out baseline information on what hate crimes are, who is most affected, and existing legislative efforts to combat hate. It goes on to offer exercises for both self and group reflection, educational tools on how to identify and challenge hate, and action items designed to root out discrimination and build solidarity among community members.
Faith communities can and must take an active role in making their communities safer. By partnering against hate, religious leaders and people of faith can send the message that hate speech and hateful violence will never be tolerated or left unchallenged.
Learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s efforts to combat hate and discrimination.