A growing climate of Islamophobia

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Originally published on Philly.com

Hostile climate

The recent act of throwing a severed pig’s head at the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque in North Philadelphia was clearly an act of Islamophobia, signifying grave disrespect toward Muslims. But it is much more than that. The act also reflects a growing climate in this country of intolerance aimed at practitioners of Islam. It represents an attack on the religious tolerance and diversity that are crucial elements of a just and democratic society.

We also note with alarm the anti-Muslim rhetoric and behavior that have been unleashed through the presidential campaign, which can only fuel further hostile acts.

Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends condemns the recent hateful act aimed at the Al Aqsa Islamic Society. We express our solidarity with the Society and seek to join with our Muslim brothers and sisters, along with others, to counter the broader racist hostility and xenophobia that we now face.

The most effective actions to counter the hatred will be done in the spirit of hope and love.

|Germantown Monthly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends, Philadelphia

Undoing racism

Thanks for reporting on the positive relationship being developed between the Upper Darby police and American residents whose faith tradition is Muslim (“Muslims march with police in U. Darby,”

Dec. 16).

“By getting to know one another, we can persevere through this challenging time,” said Kamal Rahman, a leader of the Masjid Al Madinah Mosque and Islamic Center.

Amen. Communicating with each other is part of the solution to undoing racism and building peace.

On behalf of the steering committee for the CommUNITY Breakfast, conducted annually at Villanova University to mark “Undoing Racism Day,” blessings for joyous holy days and a Happy New Year.

|Anne Minicozzi, Villanova, [email protected]

Spreading the truth

There is a lot of fear and misunderstanding among the public about Islam. I don’t think the solution is to tell the Islamic State that we are going to kill their followers and their families.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, led by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Khalifa of Islam, has been denouncing terrorism for more than 120 years. We have conducted “Stop the CrISIS” events around the world and recently launched a website, http://www.trueislam.com, to combat the false ideals of ISIS and others who distort religion for their own ends.

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