Washington, D.C.– Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the death of Osama bin Laden:

Last night’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden closes a difficult chapter in the life of this nation.  Bin Laden brought unspeakable tragedy into our lives that can and never will be forgotten.  Additionally, President Obama’s remarks last night on bin Laden provided an additional important step forward in the healing process we have been going through for nearly a decade.

Extremely important in the President’s remarks was his clear statement that Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, but rather a murderer of Muslims – a statement that echoed those made by President Bush immediately after September 11, 2001.  I commend the President for making the point that the United States “is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.”  It is my fervent hope and prayer that as we put this chapter behind us, we also leave behind the demonization and mistrust of the broader Muslim community that came with it.

The best possible follow-up to bin Laden’s death would be our nation’s recommitment to living together with respect for diversity, achieving unity through cooperation, and strengthening our resolve for establishing peace with justice.

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.