Op-ed submission: WU IFCMA condemns intolerance and incendiary language against Muslims

Troy Woytek | WU IFCMA Chair

Washington University’s Interfaith Campus Ministry Association (IFCMA) is comprised of a number of faith groups on campus, congregations and organizations serving the spiritual, religious and cultural needs of our campus community.

Tolerance and respect for religious diversity are of vital importance for every faith community. The members of IFCMA condemn recent statements within the political arena that demonize and marginalize adherents of Islam, including a call for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States and special police patrols of neighborhoods that Muslims live in. In the same vein, we are also horrified by acts of vandalism directed at mosques around the country stemming from similar intolerance and hate. Finally, we consider acts of violence or discrimination against Muslims or any other religious group as an attack on religious freedom and thus an attack on the dignity of our common humanity.

Incendiary language meant to inspire fear and hatred of any group has no place within political discourse and threats against any group based upon ethnicity, religious affiliation or otherwise, are contrary to American ideals and detrimental to the freedom upon which our country was founded.The members of IFCMA stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers, sisters, students, colleagues, friends and neighbors and openly call for the cessation of such hatred and intolerance in our country.

We are inspired by the many acts in St. Louis and beyond that have embodied the values of tolerance, unity and inclusion.
One such example is the Interfaith Week that is happening at Wash. U. this week to celebrate and encourage religious dialogue on campus. The members of IFCMA encourage students, as a symbol of solidarity with those who have experienced discrimination for their religious beliefs, to attend at least one event this week or to engage in dialogue with their peers about religious tolerance and freedom. We feel it is only through open and safe dialogue that people can come to mutual respect and understanding of their religious differences. You can find out more about the Interfaith Week on Facebook at “Wash U Interfaith Week 2016.”

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