Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, via Medium
The mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh has devastated all of our faith communities. We abhor the rising levels of hate and violence in the United States. No one in our country should fear for their safety because of their faith.
We are also deeply troubled by the gunman’s anti-Semitic and anti-refugee statements on social media. We reaffirm our commitment to stand alongside one another to defend our rights and to welcome people of all backgrounds who seek refuge in America. We celebrate the work the Jewish community is doing to welcome refugees and to make this country a better place for all. We vow to work harder to make our country and our communities free of hate, bigotry, and violence.
Leaders of Shoulder to Shoulder faith communities spoke today on the incredible tragedy:
Dr. Sayyid Syeed, President of the Islamic Society of North America, said, “I weep with my Jewish siblings today in this moment of unspeakable tragedy. Many times the Jewish community has come alongside American Muslims in the face of violence, and today we stand with them in mourning, and in committing ourselves to work together against all forms of violence and hate.”
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, said, “In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy in Pittsburgh, in a synagogue of my own Conservative Movement whose rabbi was my student, I stand with Shoulder to Shoulder to deplore the hatred and gun violence we have experienced. It is not surprising that the condolences I have received today have been, first and foremost, from my Muslim friends and colleagues all over the world. They know that an attack on any one house of worship is an attack on all places of prayer. They know that hatred for one religion is a danger to all. And we all know that the only way to overcome this hatred, taught of late from the very center of American power, is to stand Shoulder to Shoulder united in love and standing together for American values and decency.”
Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, President of the US Council of Catholic Bishops, said, “To our brothers and sisters of the Jewish community, we stand with you. We condemn all acts of violence and hate and yet again, call on our nation and public officials to confront the plague of gun violence. Violence as a response to political, racial, or religious differences must be confronted with all possible effort. God asks nothing less of us…May Almighty God be with them and bring them comfort at this tragic time.”
Amanda Tyler, Executive Director of Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, said, “An attack on worshippers is an attack on religious liberty. Like so many, I’m heartbroken, grieving this vicious act of violence and hatred. Lord have mercy. I’m praying for Tree of Life synagogue and all our sisters and brothers whose very existence is under threat. Love your neighbor.”