Leadership comes with responsibility to help foster peace in civil society
Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders called on national leaders to end rhetoric that inspires violence and extremism, and to acknowledge the right of all people to live safely in peace. The spiritual leaders spoke out at a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Islamic House of Wisdom. The event was called in the wake of murders of Jews in Pittsburgh, African Americans in Kentucky, and attempted bombings of people and media outlets.
“Faith leaders came together to show the power of a unified voice for peace. We live at a time when we have to remind national leaders of their basic duty to first respect everyone’s humanity and then to ensure everyone’s safety regardless of color, ethnicity, gender or faith,” said Rev. Ed Rowe of Methodist Federation for Social Action. “We’re all appalled as faith leaders and as children of God, that attempted mass bombings, slayings of African Americans in Kentucky and Jewish worshippers at a synagogue have not made all the nation’s leaders reject white nationalism and violence. So we must continue to spur our congregations and all people to demand basic respect and rights for all.”
The suspect in the killings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh also cited his hatred of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which works to resettle refugees brought to the US by the federal government.
“To make America great is to honor its constitution, Declaration of Independence, democracy, religious liberty, and diversity and pluralism instead of creating division, harassing immigrants, inciting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and sending bombs to media people you disagree with,” said Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom. “To achieve these goals, we need a new vision of political leadership, people blessed with the gift of courage, conscience, compassion and commitment, people standing for truth, justice, unity, love integrity and American values. I hope this Tuesday’s Midterm election sends a stern moral and mighty message.”