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Update: U.S. "Religious Intolerance" Denounced

9/8/10

According to The New York Times, a summit meeting was held between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders over what participants called “the derision, misinformation, and outright bigotry” displayed toward Muslims over the controversial Islamic community center planned for a Manhattan community near Ground Zero. Attending leaders said they were alarmed at the “anti-Muslim frenzy” occurring around the country over the issue, which made America appear as if it was “built on hate” rather than as the world’s model for religious freedom and diversity. The meeting took place in Washington D.C. over growing concern by government officials that a Florida pastor, Terry Jones, will publicly burn copies of the Koran to commemorate 9/11, despite warnings against the action from the top U.S. and NATO commanding officer in Afghanistan. A State Department representative said any action “that puts our troops in harm’s way” was of great concern, and leaders at the summit meeting denounced Jones’ behavior, saying they were “appalled” at the his disrespect. Although the interfaith group did not take a side for or against the proposed Muslim center, they unanimously expressed a deep concern over the “un-American” behavior prevalent over the issue, calling for government officials to aggressively prosecute related hate crimes.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.