During a press conference held this week at the Interfaith Alliance in Washington, DC, prominent religious Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders condemned the recent distribution of an anti-Muslim DVD to more than 28 million households in key election swing states. Rabbi Jack Moline, Chair of the Interfaith Alliance, also called on both presidential campaigns to “promote a pluralistic view of religion and faith as a source of unity and healing in our country” and “reject the use of religion as a political weapon.”
|“Obsession” was distributed to more than 28 million households in key election swing states.
“Terrorism is a real threat to this country and, in fact, to every country. Our next president, whoever he may be, will need to deal with terrorism as a strategy on many fronts and from many sources. The misdirection of “Obsession” not only sullies and alienates the adherents of Islam, but distracts the attention of all concerned Americans from the genuine threats from terrorist renegades of many origins, including non-Muslim Americans.
“We at the Interfaith Alliance call on Senator McCain and Senator Obama to repudiate this film and to reject the support of those associated with it. We call on them to promote a pluralistic view of religion and faith as a source of unity and healing in our country. We call on both candidates to reject the use of religion as a political weapon. The good work of interfaith relations all over this country would be strengthened by encouragement, from the next president of the United States.
“I would like to add a personal note of disappointment that the Clarion Fund and its founder, also the producer of this film, are tied closely to a prominent Jewish organization. As a board member of the Interfaith Alliance, I promise to turn a critical eye first to my own community. The rabbi whose name appears on this film as a producer and co-writer has a hard repentance ahead of him on Yom Kippur. I will include his actions in my own confession of sins.”
Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) community development director Haris Tarin also presented an interfaith statement, which has been signed by more than 80 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders around the country in the past five days. The statement expresses “deep concern over the recent distribution of a deeply divisive and anger-provoking DVD” which undermines “our common and cherished beliefs by inciting fear and furthering ignorant stereotypes.”
In his comments, Chris Seiple, president of the Institute of Global Engagement and a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals, said in part:
“As a Christian organization, we believe that the heart of religious freedom is respect with and reconciliation with the other, whoever the other might be within our own respective societies across the globe. In fact, we believe religious freedom, thoughtfully understood, and appropriately applied, is the ultimate counter terrorism tool.