WASHINGTON – Christian and Jewish leaders are standing with the Islamic community to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry.
At an "emergency interfaith summit" on Tuesday, a broad group of prominent religious leaders expressed deep distress and sadness against recent incidents of violence and the desecration of Islamic houses of worship.
"In recent weeks, we have become alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy that has been generated over the plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque at the Park 51 site near Ground Zero in New York City," the group told the media. "Our concern here is not to debate the Park 51 project anew, but rather to respond to the atmosphere of fear and contempt for fellow Americans of the Muslim faith that the controversy has generated." more >>
The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Monday that a Florida church’s plan to burn Qurans on Sept. 11 could be detrimental to American troops overseas.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” said Gen. David Petraeus in a statement. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
There are about 140,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan. more >>
Two-thirds of New Yorkers, including some who support the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, say leaders of the project should find a location further from the 9/11 crash site, according to a New York Times poll released this past week.
The solid majority that want the center to relocate to a less controversial site said so even though many of them (62 percent of respondents) believe developers of the Park51 project have a right to build it.
But New Yorkers, as a group, could not decide how far away from Ground Zero the mosque should move. Of those who responded, about 20 percent said more than 20 blocks away from ground zero, 18 percent said 10 to 20 blocks, and seven percent said five to ten blocks. more >>
Not many prominent conservative evangelicals have weighed in on the controversial effort to establish a mosque and Islamic cultural center near New York City’s Ground Zero, and even fewer have voiced support for the project.
Centrist and progressive evangelicals, on the other hand, have been mostly supportive and have tried to encourage their more conservative counterparts to be good neighbors, arguing that those behind the newly renamed Park51 project have been.
In a teleconference this week with faith and military leaders Lisa Sharon Harper, executive director of New York Faith & Justice, praised the people behind the project for “doing everything” they can to be good neighbors – including their plan to open the community center up to everyone, not just Muslims, and changing their name from the controversial Cordoba House to Park51. more >>
The sometimes hateful rhetoric being used by opponents of the proposed mosque near ground zero can result in violence against Christians living in Muslim-dominated countries, warned a ministry leader who works with persecuted Christians.
“I think it’s important to remember, as Americans are often unable to do, that there are millions of Christians in the Middle East,” said Dr. Carl Moeller, president/CEO of Open Doors USA, on Wednesday.
Moeller, who noted that there are some 10 million Christians in Egypt and six million in Pakistan, said the “more vile and hateful” protests against the proposed project can inflame Muslim extremists. Since extremists in the Middle East cannot take their anger out on Americans, they take revenge on local Christians, which they associate with America, he said. more >>
Negative reactions to President Obama’s remarks about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero are coming from all sides, including members of his own political party.
Opponents of the proposed $100 million Muslim cultural center are upset that the president voiced support for the plan at a White House iftar (evening meal to break fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan) Friday without seriously addressing the concern of those against the project, mainly sensitivity to the families of the 9/11 attacks.
Some critics contrasted the president’s backing of the Islamic center with his lack of support for Christians. more >>