Video Responds To Increase In Discrimination Against Muslims And Anti-Mosque Sentiment
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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) today released a video featuring religious leaders from multiple faiths proclaiming that freedom of religion is a fundamental right. The video is being released in response to an alarming increase in anti-Muslim sentiment and efforts to prevent Muslim prayer spaces from being established across the country.
"In America, we don't play favorites with religious liberty," said Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. "We cannot allow misguided biases to chip away at our fundamental principles."
The video features various New York-based faith leaders reading from a statement saying that while everyone has a right to speak their mind, racial and ethnic stereotyping is a losing proposition. The speakers demand that the government provide equal protection to all religions, and ask for all Americans to stand up against those who seek to trade away civil liberties and religious freedom for political advantage.
"We reject the refrain of 'freedom of religion, but not in my backyard,'" said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. "To be true to the core values that make America special, we must respect everyone's religious freedom."
Featured in the video are Imam Abdul Baqi of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church, Father Michael Perry of Our Lady of Refuge, Rabbi Andy Bachman of Congregation Beth Elohim and Faiza Ali of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The video can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJnvtnhWdco