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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.