WASHINGTON – Following yesterday’s shooting of four Marines near a military installation in Chattanooga, Tenn., Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

“Too frequently, it seems, we must give witness to our own fragility and vulnerability in the wake of mass violence. Once again a gunman has threatened to tear apart the very fabric of our society: the freedom and pluralism that make our nation great. And once again I must wonder if this tragic moment might bring us closer together, or if our reactions to this heinous act will only pull us further apart. But the fact that these feelings are all too familiar cannot lessen the unique experience of the people of Chattanooga or the tragedy they face today.      

“I stand today with the people of Chattanooga, shaken by the pain that has visited their community. They, like all Americans, deserve freedom from violence and freedom from fear, and we owe them a moment of reflection on how best to seek that healing and safety.

“I stand today with the men and women of the armed forces who have once again been asked to sacrifice far too much. We must recommit ourselves to the Constitution that these men and women serve to protect and defend.

“And I stand today with Muslims across America, too many of whom will be asked to provide reason for this senseless act. They no more hold collective responsibility for this heinous act than the Christian community holds for last month’s tragedy in Charleston. I join with Muslim communities across the country as they gather to commemorate Eid al-Fitr and the completion of the month of Ramadan. The reflection, humility and compassion that Islam begs of us in these holidays are exactly what America needs to see us through this moment of tragedy.“

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.