New York, NY –Bend the Arc Jewish Action today joined a coalition of nearly 100 groups in signing open letters to American mayors across the country urging them to condemn anti-Muslim protests taking place in their cities on Saturday, June 10.
The letters are part of a broad interfaith effort to express solidarity with the Muslim community in light of the protests, which are being organized by anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America and have been endorsed by a wide variety of far-right and anti-government figures. They are designed to intimidate Muslim communities and stoke anti-Muslim fear and hate nationwide through false claims about the imaginary threat that Islamic law (Shariah) supposedly poses to America. Since President Donald Trump took office, there has been a significant increase in the number of anti-Muslim attacks and hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We write to ask you to join us in publicly embracing our nation’s core values of pluralism, diversity, and liberty for all while firmly rejecting the forces of hate and bigotry that seek to divide us,” the letters read. “The members of your community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, must be reassured that bigotry, hatred, and prejudice against any individual or group based on their faith, gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, sexual orientation, or disability status will not be tolerated.”
Bend the Arc Jewish Action is also involved in interfaith solidarity events and counter-protests taking place across the country, including Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Jewish people have faced this kind of vile resentment before. We are determined to stand with our Muslim friends against the wave of hatred they face in the era of Donald Trump,” said Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler. “These hate groups are attempting to divide our communities and weaken us just when it is most important that we stand together in defense of our deepest shared values. They will not succeed.”
Cities where the ACT for America protests will take place include Phoenix, AZ; Oceanside, CA; San Bernardino, CA; Santa Clara, CA; Roseville, CA; Denver, CO; Waterbury, CT; Jacksonville, FL; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Wichita, KS; Boston, MA: Lansing, MI; St. Paul, MN; Kansas City, MO; New York, NY; Syracuse, NY; Raleigh, NC; Westchester and Cincinnati, OH (one event); Harrisburg, PA; Austin, TX; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; Virginia Beach, VA; and Seattle, WA.
Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a leader in the American Jewish community in opposing the policies of the Trump administration targeting Muslims, immigrants, refugees and other marginalized groups. The organization recently raised more than $10,000 to support private security for Linda Sarsour, a prominent Muslim-American civil rights activist who has been a frequent target for harassment by anti-Muslim extremists. An open letter co-authored by Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, expressing solidarity with those threatened by the Trump administration, received more than 45,000 signatures. In addition, a joint petition with the Muslim Public Affairs Council calling for white nationalist Steve Bannon’s to resign as White House chief strategist received an additional 29,000 signatures.