April 3, 2018
Franciscans Speak out Against Hate Crimes Directed at Arabs and Muslims
Washington, D.C. - We Franciscans are deeply disturbed and saddened by the recent wave of anti-Muslim flyers, promoting “Punish a Muslim Day” on April 3rd. The flier, which originated outside the U.S., is circulating across the U.S. and other countries. It encourages hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims. These folks are your neighbor, your doctor, the cashier at the grocery store. Their children go to school with your children. Because of the rhetoric they are afraid, they are being harassed and their children are being taunted in schools.
The principle of freedom of religion is a tradition and ideal that formed the foundation of our country. No persons should fear for their safety because of the color of their skin, what language they speak, or how they pray. We are weaker as a country when we let fear and lack of understanding come between us. It is morally wrong to single out one group of people based on their faith.
As Franciscans we are called to be more than bystanders. When we see injustice we are called to action, so the Franciscan Action Network denounces this hateful activity, and instead, calls for efforts to uphold dignity, equality and religious freedom for all, values we claim to hold as national ideals.