9/11 is a week away. Instead of remembering our loss with an affirmation of our nation’s unity and confidence, some politicians are eager to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 to score political points.
The fearmongers rallying against the “Ground Zero Mosque” are missing the point: messages of hatred get us nowhere. In fact, they hurt us.
George W. Bush understood this. When he was president, he said: “America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith,” and repeated this message during his presidency. We’re urging him to speak out now in an open petition we’ll publicize widely. Join our efforts by signing here.
More recently, leaders like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rev. Larry Reimer from Gainesville have spoken out against bigotry.
This is no longer only about an Islamic center in Manhattan—there are anti-mosque rallies taking place around the country, and even reports of arson and gun shots at a mosque in Tennessee. The Internet is filled with hatred, and a church in Florida is planning a Koran burning on September 11th.
Right now, every American is faced with a choice: support the wave of religious intolerance, sit on the sidelines and say nothing, or stand up for the fundamental principles that have made this country great—religious freedom, pluralism, and tolerance.
We need everyone to speak out—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. George W. Bush—who took the lead in defending tolerance and freedom of religion in the past—could make a difference by speaking out now. Sign our petition urging him to do so.