Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, released the following statement in response to the latest developments related to the Islamic Culture Center in lower Manhattan and plans to burn Qu’rans:

Today's confusing events related to burning Qu'rans in Florida and to pressuring Muslims in New York to change their plans for the construction of an Islamic Culture Center in lower Manhattan highlight the need for reason, mutual respect, and stability in our nation's commitment to assure religious freedom, which includes safety to worship, for all people. 

Too much is at stake–personally, nationally, and internationally–for these situations to be tossed around in the public media and resolved on the basis of polling data or political opportunism. 

We have an opportunity to remember responsibly what happened 9 years ago on September 11 and from the grief and resolution inherent in those memories give new meaning to this day in early fall.  Let us resolve to use September 11 to reaffirm the promise of religions and to devote ourselves more fully to finding ways to live together more civilly and peacefully.  That is the image of America that can be a major factor in changing the world.

Ours is a nation of law, freedom, and religion. Let’s keep that in mind as we move forward.

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.