We are deeply concerned with the recent executive order, which temporarily restricts travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority nations. This ban prevents those refugees who have already undergone rigorous vetting from seeking refuge in the US, denying even the most vulnerable and traumatized victims of the Syrian civil war. This unilateral measure has created profound confusion, anxiety, and fear, among many in the US and abroad.
Keeping America safe should always be a high priority for our government. We support actions taken by the US government to secure the safety of American citizens, provided that these actions are compatible with the US Constitution and democratic norms, and do not undermine fundamental American values. We also support those actions that do not compromise our partnerships with those communities around the world who are engaged in peace-building. We support measures that strengthen-not weaken-our bonds with those who are our partners in peace. Indeed, the vast majority of Muslims globally share in this vision, some of whom are themselves the victims of lawless violence, and we stand with them as we stand with all who champion inclusivity and tolerance of others.
America’s history of building a strong and resilient democracy is proof that welcoming immigrants from different cultures and traditions, and maintaining security and the rule of law, are not mutually exclusive. To the contrary, what makes our nation strong is its ability-indeed its commitment-to embrace people of all races, ethnicities and religions.
Extreme partisanship and social polarization are a threat to the very fabric of our great and unique nation. We hope and pray that the American people and their government are able to work together to overcome these deep-seated tensions created by contesting viewpoints and perspectives. We call on political, intellectual, and religious leaders, as well as the media, to act responsibly and constructively during these turbulent times.
The mission of our organization is to promote tolerance and the celebration of others through interfaith and intercultural understanding. We stand ready to facilitate and join all efforts to reconcile social and political tensions through respectful dialogue and peace-building.