Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline issued the following statement:
“I was just as shocked as anyone to learn that a young Israeli-American man is allegedly responsible for the recent threats against Jewish community centers across the nation. But, supposing the allegations are true, we should be careful about the lessons we draw.
“Some are claiming this development as proof that anti-semitism is no longer a real issue in America. Others are taking the opportunity to praise President Trump for having suggested, absent any evidence at the time, that the threats could be so-called false flags.
“Make no mistake. President Trump was wrong to baselessly downplay threats against a religious minority. Even if he turned out to be right this time, the President should never rush to judgment based on mere hunches. He should proceed based on facts and the results of law enforcement investigations.
“The threats against Jewish community centers struck fear into families because of the long history of violence against Jews in America, up til present day. Not even three years ago, white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller attacked two Jewish community centers in Kansas, killing two people. Organizations like the ADL and SPLC have documented a surge in anti-semitic rhetoric, vandalism and attacks over the past two years.
“We must not forget that bigotry against religious minorities is larger than any one suspect or any one group. Jews, Muslims and other religious minorities in America are undeniably at greater risk of violence, intimidation and discrimination because of how they worship. President Trump should carefully avoid fanning the flames of hate and step us as comforter-in-chief, as his predecessors have done during trying times in our history.”
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.