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 is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.