A group of religious leaders have formed an interfaith coalition to aid Muslim communities facing rising discrimination and opposition in building or expanding their places of worship.
The Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM) is composed of people and organizations from different faith traditions, including groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Interfaith Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention, that are committed to supporting and defending Muslims when their rights are being violated. The coalition will monitor, investigate, and speak out on instances anti-Muslim discrimination.
A recent ADL report found that “an intensified level of anti-Muslim bigotry has surfaced” in the last few months, targeting mosques and Islamic centers across the country. The report cites incidents ranging from the Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) demonstrations against the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero to a pipe bomb explosion at an Islamic center in Jacksonville, Florida, which was filled with about 60 worshippers.
“We believe the best way to uphold America’s democratic values is to ensure that Muslims can exercise the same religious freedom enjoyed by everyone in America,” ICOM said in its Statement of Purpose. “They deserve nothing less than to have a place of worship like everyone else.”