AFSC calls on all to make our communities more inclusive

PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 8, 2012) - The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) offers its deepest condolences to the Sikh and Muslim communities suffering from this week of violence and hatred in Oak Creek, WI, and Joplin, MO, and urges others to join us as we rally behind these communities nationwide.

“We mourn the loss of life in Oak Creek and the destruction of the Joplin mosque. As an international peace and justice organization, AFSC has often witnessed the impact of hatred and ignorance around the world. But we also witness the transformative power of dialogue, love, and nonviolent action to bring people together,” said Shan Cretin, AFSC’s General Secretary.

We believe that the majority of the public also is shocked by the acts of those who target our neighbors based on race and religion. We urge individuals and faith communities to reach out to our Sikh and Muslim brothers and sisters, by sending messages of support, writing to the local paper to encourage peace and tolerance, or engaging in simple acts of hospitality and solidarity.  

“Violence directed at any community hurts all of us, and we recommit to our work to abolish the idea of ‘the other.’ Take this opportunity to go to a memorial service or vigil locally and then please join with those around you, not just today, but every day, in calling out hateful speech and actions. This is how we begin to make peace together,” said Jennifer Piper, Interfaith Organizing Director in AFSC’s Denver office.