FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2020
Sarah Clements, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Phone: 202-776-7700
Rabbi Jack Moline Warns of Heightened Xenophobia, Targeting of Iranian-Americans in Wake of Soleimani Assassination
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement on the targeting of Iranian-Americans by U.S. government agencies in light of growing tensions between the Iranian government and the Trump administration.
“We have long been concerned by government programs that surveil and profile Iranian-Americans. The community includes a diverse range of religious identities, including Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, Jews, and those of no professed faith. Yet their heritage has made Iranian-Americans the utmost target of every so-called Muslim Ban proposed by this administration. It is ironic, since so many Iranians came to the U.S. having fled the very regime that is the source of the current conflict.
“The assassination of Qassam Soleimani and threatened targeted strikes on cultural and religiously significant sites have raised tensions around the world and appear to have affected the ability of people of Iranian background to legally cross the U.S. border. Others – including Iranian-American citizens – have been interrogated for hours at airports and questioned about their opinions on the current political situation. This expression of xenophobia seems based on a presumed religious identity and antipathy toward the U.S., not genuine national security concerns.
“We share the concerns of the Iranian-American community that current political tensions may drive racial and ethnic profiling. We urge our government to respect the rights of U.S. citizens and legal residents as they travel and as they go about their normal routines. To allow American military action to drive discriminatory domestic policy calls into question the rule of law that is the hallmark of our society.”
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 www.interfaithalliance.org.