Interfaith Dialogue on Tolerance and Fear of Islam
Minneapolis: On December 4, 2013, interfaith leaders and community members will gather in Little Falls, Minneapolis, for a community dialogue on “Tolerance and the Fear of Islam.” Event sponsors include: Little Falls Partners for Peace, Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace, Building Blocks of Islam, and the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). “Many individuals in the community have never met a Muslim in person and that allows fear to grow,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow. “This event seeks to promote a positive discussion around tolerance, respect and community. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best- ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.’” The event was organised after community leaders and activists considered the negative impact, a speech by an anti-Muslim speaker had in the community earlier this year. On July 29, 2013, the Central Minnesota Tea Party featured anti-Muslim speaker Brigitte Gabriel from the hate group ACT. Gabriel claims, an American Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen” and that Islam is the “real enemy.” She once told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word, it’s the vehicle for Islam.Islam is the problem.” The New York Times stated: “Gabriel presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.