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National Faith Leaders to Protest Anti-Muslim Hearings

Senior national religious leaders of several faiths including Jews, Christians and Muslims will express their concerns about the format ofRep. Peter King's congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.

Contact: Eric Harris
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2011 - Senior national religious leaders of several faiths including, Jews, Christians and Muslims will converge on Capitol Hill Thursday to protest Representative Peter King's (R-N.Y.) congressional hearings on the radicalization of the American Muslim community.

Following the House Committee on Homeland Security's hearing, the religious leaders will issue a statement voicing their opposition to the congressional inquiries and launch a national interfaith campaign to promote tolerance and to work for an end to anti-Muslim bigotry before meeting with Congressional and Administration officials.

The gathering of faith leaders will take place at 1 p.m. in Cannon House Office Building Room 234. Media coverage is welcome. Photo and video opportunities will be available.

WHO:

Senior national faith leaders who will speak:

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches;

Rev. Richard Cizik, President, The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good;

Fr. James Massa, Executive Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops;

Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding;

Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali, President, Islamic Society of North America;

Mark J. Pelavin, Director, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism and Associate Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Rabbi Jack Moline, Director of Public Policy, The Rabbinical Assembly and Board Member, Interfaith Alliance

Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Founding Rabbi, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, Bethesda, Md., and Director, Faith and the Common Good, a project of Auburn Theological Seminary

Additional senior religious leaders who will attend include:

Rev. Richard Killmer, National Religious Campaign Against Torture; Dr. James Zogby, Arab American Institute; Mr. Safaa Zarzour, Islamic Society of North America; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Dr. Michael Trice, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rabbi Charles Feinberg, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America; Jessica Barba Brown, Faith in Public Life; Lisa Daughtry-Weiss, Sojourners; and Michael Neuroth, United Church of Christ.

WHAT:

Joint press conference to discuss interfaith response to Rep. Peter King's congressional hearings on the radicalization of the American Muslim community.

WHERE:

Cannon House Office Building
Room 234

WHEN:


Thursday, March 10 at 1 p.m.

The senior national religious leaders expected to be in Washington Thursday represent the same denominations and faith groups that stood in solidarity on September 7 to speak out against the rise in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry leading up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the planned burning of the Qur'an in Florida. Following a September emergency meeting of this group convened by the Islamic Society of North America, the faith leaders pledged that the religious community across the country would work to end anti-Muslim bigotry. As a result, the religious leaders are launching a national interfaith campaign to promote tolerance and to work for an end to anti-Muslim bigotry. This campaign, which will be officially unveiled Thursday's, is called "Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values."

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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