The Archdiocese of Philadelphia shared a joint statement Aug. 12 issued by the co-conveners of the Religious Leaders Council, members of the Religious Leaders Council, and Interfaith Philadelphia concerning an anti-Semitic post July 23 on the Facebook page of Rodney Muhammad, president of the Philadelphia NAACP.
We join in denouncing racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and any ideology that violates the sacredness of life. The meme posted by Rodney Muhammad has stirred generational pain. It is a reminder that actions, beliefs, and words that have roots in maligning and dehumanizing people are too often perpetuated. This time, the concern surrounds anti-Semitism. Regardless of the racial, cultural, gender, or religious group, such imagery is unacceptable.
Now is the time for restraint and judgment that resists the use of images that depict hurtful stereotypes of any cultural/racial groups. Now is the time to draw attention to structural forces, policies, and cultural practices that keep people divided. Hate should have no home in our communities. Organizations like the NAACP are called to their highest values as we share a lifetime of partnering to dismantle oppression and bigotry.
We stand with any other organization purposed to build bridges of understanding, embrace diversity, and encourage encounters with people from various backgrounds and faiths. We welcome the opportunity to work within our region to continue the work of dismantling racism, anti-Semitism, and any form of bigotry or hatred.
Co-Conveners of the Religious Leaders Council: Archbishop Nelson Pérez – Archdiocese of Philadelphia | Bishop Daniel Gutiérrez – Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia | Imam Anwar Muhaimin – Quba Masjid | Rabbi David Straus
Members of the Religious Leaders Council: Bishop Gregory Ingram – African American Episcopal Church | Rev. Luis Cortés – Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity | Rev. Dr. Calenthia Dowdy – Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia | Christie Duncan-Tessmer – Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends | Rev. William Worley – Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ | Kavneet Singh Pannu – American Sikh Council | Rev. Robert Collier Sr. – Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity | Rabbi Eric Yanoff – Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia | Rev. Kevin Jagoe – Unitarian Universalist Association, Central Eastern Region | Rev. Bokin Kim – Won Institute of Graduate Studies | Rabbi Albert Gabbai – Congregation Mikveh Israel| Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell – Delaware Valley Association of Reform Rabbis | Bishop Peggy Johnson – Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, United Methodist Church| Rev. Glenn McDowell – Philadelphia Gospel Movement |Rev. Dr. Wilson Goode – Philadelphia Leadership Foundation | Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace – Presbytery of Philadelphia | Rabbi David Glazenberg-Krainin – Rabbinical Assembly of Greater Philadelphia Region | Rabbi Shawn Zevit – Reconstructing Judaism | Lt. Col. Larry Ashcraft – Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware | Bishop Patricia Davenport – Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ECLA | Dr. Gity Etemad – Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of Philadelphia | Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak – Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy
Interfaith Philadelphia: Rev. Jesse Garner, Board Chair | Abby Stamelman Hocky, Executive Director | Rev. Edward Livingston, Director, Religious Community Initiatives| Rev. John B. Hougen, Zones of Peace Coordinator
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