Interfaith Alliance Expresses Condolences to Victims of Hate Crimes,
Reflects on Need to Fight Intolerance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the aftermath of a trend of heinous hate crimes targeting religious minorities, mainly in New York against the Orthodox Jewish community, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, offered comfort and sympathy to those targeted and reflected on the American values of inclusivity and tolerance toward all groups:

“Over the past several days, I have offered comfort to those who have been attacked seemingly on the basis of who they are. By my words, actions, and prayers, I hope to convey utmost condolences to the many families stricken with fear and uncertainty in what should be a tolerant country and a peaceful time of year.

“This year, we have seen a rise in hate crimes against religious minorities — especially targeting those who are most visibly practicing, from hijabi Muslims to Chasidic Jews. In this volatile time, the distinctiveness of observant Jewish apparel or symbols outside of a church are enough to make vulnerable those seeking to worship in their desired ways. It is a sad admittance that even in 2019, visibility makes people of faith and communities of color clear targets for those committing hate crimes, identified first by appearance and only later by the content of character. This is always the way of bigotry, racism, and hatred.

“There were more anti-Semitic attacks in New York during Hanukkah than there were candles to light on the menorah. This should appall both people of faith and people of no faith, Jews and non-Jews. We cannot forget that the measure of genuine American values is inclusivity: all people are created equal. Intolerance is unacceptable, and we must fight every day the trend of separating groups, growing tribalism, and unequal treatment under the law.

“Finally, we applaud those leaders and members of faith, civil rights, and other communities who have expressed solidarity with those who have suffered, and hope that they are indicative of a groundswell among national and local government leaders as well. The solution to this violence will not be simple, but it must be sought.”

If you are interested in speaking with Rabbi Jack Moline further, please reach out to Sarah Clements at [email protected]

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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.