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February 21, 2017
The New Jersey Interfaith Coalition comprised of 150 organizations from throughout the State strongly condemns the bomb threats yesterday that targeted Jewish Community Centers in Birmingham, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Paul, Tampa, Albuquerque, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Buffalo. We also condemn the hateful vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in Missouri.
The New Jersey Interfaith community is united with others nationwide to express our outrage at the unprecedented spike in hateful rhetoric and bias-motivated incidents targeting minorities, especially American Jews and Muslims. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community because any hate crime targeting any faith is a hate crime against all of us.
We call upon all elected officials and community leaders to speak out against the rising tide of anti-Semitism as well as that of Islamophobia.
We stand in full support of the following statement of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association and we stand in partnership with them.
Sr. Kaity's Blog
Recently, since the election, there has been an increase in bias crimes against Muslim Americans. Before Mr. Trump became President, he voiced his opposition towards Muslim Americans through his hateful rhetoric and policy proposals. His actions have actually encouraged Islamophobes to try to eliminate, and intimidate Muslim Americans through profanity, burning down mosques, targeting them on University campuses and physically attacking them. They commit these acts because they perceive the President of the United States has given them permission to do so.
At Rutgers University- New Brunswick, the largest public university and the most diverse campus in the country, a hateful and unfortunate incident occurred where a poster in black and white stated, “ Imagine, A Muslim-Free America” with the twin towers and the American Flag in the background. This symbolizes many things. Firstly, by inserting the idea of a “Muslim-Free America” it prompts people to think about the role Muslim Americans play in the United States. However, the white supremacist group does not give any room for people to think objectively about it because they insert the twin towers into the picture to indicate that Muslims are terrorists. This is a false characterization. This is not just a poster, but an overt message to inspire hatred towards, Islam and Muslim Americans. The idea of spreading such messages on campuses like Rutgers University is an attempt to control the minds of youth by putting biased information out for them to absorb.
This cannot continue as long as we resist and stand up for each other: To stand with minority groups, refugees, immigrants and all groups affected by Trumps executive orders and words. I saw at a protest a while ago at Rutgers University a sign that stated, “We are All Muslims”. It truly was inspiring and heart touching because the person holding the poster might have not been Muslim but chose to hold the poster to indicate that we are one. Mr. Trump’s attempts at trying to divide us have resulted with us now being more united than ever.
As CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues stated in a press release, “The hatred and the implicit call for genocide targeting American Muslims exhibited in this poster must not be tolerated,--All Americans must be able to practice their faith and worship as they choose without fear of harassment or intimidation. The diversity of the student body at Rutgers University has long been a source of pride and inspiration, and the University administration must not allow narrow-minded bigots to tarnish its reputation and intimidate its students.”
Sr. Kaity Assaf is a Freshman at Rutgers University,The Founder of Eid in Clifton-NJ, and an Intern at CAIR-NJ