Washington, D.C.– Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the death of Osama bin Laden:

Last night’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden closes a difficult chapter in the life of this nation.  Bin Laden brought unspeakable tragedy into our lives that can and never will be forgotten.  Additionally, President Obama’s remarks last night on bin Laden provided an additional important step forward in the healing process we have been going through for nearly a decade.

Extremely important in the President’s remarks was his clear statement that Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, but rather a murderer of Muslims – a statement that echoed those made by President Bush immediately after September 11, 2001.  I commend the President for making the point that the United States “is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.”  It is my fervent hope and prayer that as we put this chapter behind us, we also leave behind the demonization and mistrust of the broader Muslim community that came with it.

The best possible follow-up to bin Laden’s death would be our nation’s recommitment to living together with respect for diversity, achieving unity through cooperation, and strengthening our resolve for establishing peace with justice.

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.