Towards Words & Actions of Peace and Goodwill

As Franciscan and Muslim leaders we join together in calling for an end to vitriolic hate speech, attitudes and actions against
Muslims. We condemn acts of hatred and violence committed by any group against another. Zechariah 7:10 declares that
the word of the Lord said: “….do not plot evil against one another in your hearts. But they refused to listen; they turned their
backs and stopped their ears so as not to hear.” The Koran 25:63 states: “The servants of the Compassionate are they who
walk upon the earth humbly, and when the ignorant address them, they answer “Peace!”

Some who are ignorant, who have closed their hearts and ears, have hijacked both the Christian and Muslim faith traditions by
preaching hatred and promoting violence, thus acting against the Word of God. We urge them to look deep into their hearts to
find the peace and love of God. In 1928, Adolf Hitler said: “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of
Christianity. Our movement is Christian.” Adolf Hitler no more represented Christianity in 1928 than Daesh represents Islam

We join other faith based organizations in decrying current rhetoric that is contrary to our religious traditions, scriptures, and
values. Core to all major faith traditions is love of God and neighbor, i.e. all our sisters and brothers of every race, culture,
country and religious belief. Welcoming the stranger is called for in our scriptures. The rhetoric of exclusion, religious testing,
hatred and violence is also anti-American. Whether shouted from the rooftops or more subtly expressed, especially by
candidates for public office and legislators, such language is both morally abhorrent and dangerous for maintaining our
identity as United States citizens. History has shown us that whenever we dehumanize a group of people whether through our
words or actions it could lead to war or terrorism.
We not only express our solidarity with all our brothers and sisters, we pledge to advocate on their behalf and to educate
others. Franciscans have a particular responsibility to act on behalf of the Muslim community, because we have in our history
and tradition the meeting of St. Francis of Assisi with Sultan al-Kamil in the 13 th century during the Fifth Crusade. Both
Francis and the Sultan took the risk of meeting during this violent time in an effort to foster peace and mutual understanding.
Together as Franciscan Christians and Muslims, we call for an end to hateful, divisive language, we condemn acts of violence
against Muslims, and we appeal to our government to generously welcome refugees from Syria and Iraq fleeing Daesh
violence. We stand together; drawing on the teaching of our faith traditions that fear is overcome by love and compassion.

Signed in faith and solidarity,
Patrick Carolan
Executive Director
Franciscan Action Network

Naeem Baig
Islamic Circle of North America

Br. Clark Berge, SSF
Minister General
Society of St. Francis

Imam Taha Hassane
Islamic Center of San Diego

Dianne Kaimann, OSF
Executive Director
Franciscan Federation, TOR

Fr. Mike Lasky, OFM Conv.
Newman Center
University of North Carolina

Sr. Margaret Magee
Board President
Franciscan Action Network

Cheikh Ahmed Mbareck
Executive Director
Majlis Ashura (Islamic Leadership Council) of NY

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid
Chair Board
Parliament of the World’s Religions

Sayyid Syeed
Islamic Society of North America
Office of Interfaith & Community Alliances Director

Kathleen Uhler, OSF
Franciscan Federation, TOR

Shoshanah Kay, OEF
Order of Ecumenical Franciscans

John Robertson, OEF
Order of Ecumenical Franciscans

About John Michael

Pastor, teacher, husband, dog walker, gardener, petrocollapse agitator, contemplative, hiker. Currently serving as a Formation Coordinator for OEF and Dean of VT/NY conference of Lutheran Synod.

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