January 5, 2017
Below is an open letter from the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference reproduced in full:
An Open Letter to All Mississippians and Our Leaders
We, the undersigned religious leaders, educators, community leaders, and citizens of Mississippi, hereby express our alarm at the increase in hate crimes and acts of abuse against Muslims and other minorities in Mississippi and across the United States.
We know that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and we will not be silent and allow hatred against fellow Mississippians to go unnoticed and unchecked. We will not accept as normal the increasing violence in speech, action, and policies against our neighbors.
We call out our politicians and civic leaders, asking them to condemn as we do the toleration of abusive speech of political leaders against Muslims, women, and others. Such words and actions inflame and justify hatred, are counter to the Constitution, and will always harm the fabric of our democracy.
We know that some of our neighbors, tragically some of them children, Muslims and other religious minorities, have experienced abuse that creates fear and anxiety about their personal safety and acceptance in the United States. Those fears are justified based on the words and actions of politicians and their supporters, and these hurtful actions are documented by reputable sources such as the FBI.
We will stand with you, whether you are a Muslim, African-American, immigrant, ethnic minority, LGBTQ person, woman, Mexican, disabled person, or anyone who has felt threatened by recent events in the United States. We want you to know that we will support you and uphold your rights and human dignity. We open our hearts and arms to help you.
We believe and advocate for "liberty and justice for all," equally and without bias.
We will not be silent. We will not close our eyes.
The Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference (www.msrlc.org/)
The following organizations* have endorsed this letter:
Beth Israel Congregation, Jackson
International Museum of Muslim Cultures
Jackson Board of Rabbis
League of Women Voters of Jackson
Millsaps Jewish Culture Organization/Hillel
Millsaps Religious Studies Department
Millsaps Secular Society
Millsaps Religious Studies Club
Mississippi Black Methodists for Church Renewal
Mississippi Center for Justice
Mississippi Human Services Coalition
Mississippi Low Income Childcare Initiative
Mississippi Muslim Association
Moor Community House
Temple B'nai Israel, Tupelo
The Baha'i Jackson Cluster
Tougaloo College Center for International Studies and Global Change
Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson
*We are continuing to collect even more signatories from
the state of Mississippi.