Standing with Muslims, faith groups buy banners

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Rabbi Charles Feinberg, left, executive director of the not-for-profit Interfaith Action for Human Rights, and Sandra Miller, an IAHR supporter and member of Seekers Church in Washington, D.C., hold up a banner created by Interfaith Action for Human rights in the hopes that houses of worship will order and prominently display them. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

Rabbi Charles Feinberg, left, executive director of the not-for-profit Interfaith Action for Human Rights, and Sandra Miller, an IAHR supporter and member of Seekers Church in Washington, D.C., hold up a banner created by Interfaith Action for Human rights in the hopes that houses of worship will order and prominently display them. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

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Rabbi Charles Feinberg, left, executive director of the not-for-profit Interfaith Action for Human Rights, and Sandra Miller, an IAHR supporter and member of Seekers Church in Washington, D.C., hold up a banner created by Interfaith Action for Human rights in the hopes that houses of worship will order and prominently display them. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

Rabbi Charles Feinberg, left, executive director of the not-for-profit Interfaith Action for Human Rights, and Sandra Miller, of Seekers Church in Washington, D.C., hold up a banner created by Interfaith Action for Human rights in the hopes that houses of worship will order and prominently display them. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

UDPATE: Since this story was published, at least 10 churches and a synagogue in Austin, Texas, have agreed to purchase and post banners. Clergy and congregants plan an April 28 press conference to talk about the banners and their support for their Muslim neighbors.

(RNS) The banners proclaim it in large, red letters: “Honor God — say no to anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Rabbi Charles Feinberg, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Interfaith Action for Human Rights, the organization that conceived the idea for the banners, keeps the prototype in the front seat of his car and unfurls it whenever he’s among a large group of the faithful — no matter their religion.

His aim is to get churches, synagogues and other houses of worship to order the banner, and plant or hang it prominently in public view.

“We would love to see many, many communities — many different religious communities — display it on their properties as a sign of support and as a way to counter some of the hate speech in our communities,” Feinberg told an interfaith gathering in Silver Spring, Md., recently.

The room gave him a warm round of applause, and a few people raised their hands, gesturing that they would be placing an order.

Feinberg said a handful of houses of worship have signed on so far to the banner campaign, which IAHR is promoting with Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith group created to oppose Islamophobia, and T’ruah, a human rights organization led by Jewish clergy.

The vinyl banner costs $140 for the 2-foot-by-6-foot version, and $200 for the 3-by-9-foot.

“Our best clients are in Austin, Texas,” he said. A Unitarian-Universalist church and a Congregational Church there have each bought one. The board of a Conservative synagogue in Washington, D.C., will vote at its next meeting on whether to display one on its property.

The banner campaign was inspired by other banners that have shown up on houses of worship in support of other causes in recent years. “Black Lives Matter” is a popular banner at more liberal churches, as is one that proclaims “Marriage Equality.”

The banner campaign against anti-Muslim bigotry is also offering a version that reads “We stand with our Muslim neighbors,” and another that says a particular house of worship “stands with Muslim Americans.”

(Lauren Markoe is a national reporter for RNS)

  • Loren Haas

    You mean like Deut. 20:17?
    “Completely destroy them–the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites–as the LORD your God has commanded you.”

  • Muhammad Umar Ahsan

    That quote you said comes from a Surah that is at the 5th verse. If you read the first verse it is about the story about where the Makkans broke the Treaty with Madinah and then it became war. So no we are not here to take over the world as you say and we are a religion.

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  • Debbo

    Great idea. I’ll have to check check Minneapolis churches for those banners. I’m sure I’ll see several.

  • Saleh Mubarak

    Thanks a lot… people like you make me feel much better as a Muslim American

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    Me too, my brother: it makes me feel better as a Christian American

  • Durresameen Anjum

    Thank you very much and May Allah (God Almighty) bless you for your good deed(s) Amen. Love for All Hatred for None- AMC motto.
    Please visit http://www.alislam.org

  • Mohammed Siddiqui

    Thank you my christian brothers in reality we are one family. Quran 4:1 O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.

  • Tom

    I see that IAHR’s home page says nothing about Israel and their criminal activities in the Middle East and against Palestinians. Maybe they need a banner that says “Honor God- Say No To Zionists”.

  • Anestos Canelidis

    You should report the wonderful work of Dr. Zudhi Jasser from the Islamic Forum for Democracy. He’s a patriotic American and Muslim.

  • Abdul Keddou

    These Islamist sympathizers consider Dr Jasser to be an “infidel.”

  • fullthrottle29palms

    Israelis defend themselves. Perhaps IAHR should rather publish a banner stating “Just Say No To ‘Palestinian’ Arabo-Islamic-Nazism.”

  • LCM

    As a lifelong student of history, especially the historical timelines of the Jews, Islam and Palestinians, I find it somewhat perplexing that Islam is called a “religion of peace.” I have yet to find a period of time in the entire historical timeline of Islam with one year of peace in Islamic countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Historically, the muslims have been fighting each other (various sects, primarily sunni and shia) since the death of mohamed.

    Historically, Islam has been a political ideology of invade, conquer and rule. Within a relatively short time after the death of mohamed, Islam invaded, conquered and ruled lands from Turkey to Morocco and in the process defeated and ruled all Christians.

  • Mark

    What a tragedy. As a Christian I don’t want to hate. I’m called to love my enemy and pray for those who persecute me. But as much as I may crave peace wisdom and reconciliation I’m also told to expose the unfruitful works of darkness.
    What a dilemma we find ourselves in. A time where there are record atrocities towards Christians by Islam. And threats of violence by terrorists in nearly every country. My question has always been. What are ISIS doing that was not done or condoned by Mohamed? Pure Islam.
    As much as it grieves me this appeasement of Islam by living in denial is… the gravest issue of our time. The Koran the haddiths and 1600 years of Islamic jihad are self evident. I’m sorry. This whole agenda is wrong and portraying legitimate conversation as islamophobia is disgusting and a betrayal.
    If we are wrong then please please correct. Show me what ISIS are doing that contravenes the tenants of ISLAM… I’m eager to be corrected

  • Mark

    Could some of our Muslim brothers start a movement in a few Islamic countries

    HONOUR GOD – Say no to Islamic blasphemy laws

  • Larry Singleton

    You must be out of your minds. “Black Lives Matter? Are you sleeping with the terrorist front group CAIR as well?

    You are the same people who stood by while they dragged the Jews away to the gas chambers. Believe everything you’re told without question. All there is is the nice little gardens and the music the inmate bands are playing. Not even a little niggle of doubt from the funny smelling smoke rising from those chimneys.

    And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Do you remember why that was drafted? And have you seen the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights? And that little part about all of the above having to comply with Sharia law?

    I’m in the process of reading that “My Neighbor is a Muslim” brochure. (See Stephen M. Kirby) I’ve just started and I’ve already noticed the lies. Read Hugh Fitzgerald’s latest responses to Jonathan Power’s article “Is Islam Violent. Than read Palestinians, Arabs and the Holocaust by Joseph Spoerl and then The Same God…

  • Larry Singleton

    Jihad Watch: Any genuine bigotry is indeed contemptible and should be always and everywhere shunned and condemned. The problem with this initiative is that for years now, Leftists and Islamic supremacists have insisted that any opposition to jihad terror, no matter how mild, is “anti-Muslim bigotry,” and have fought against counter-terror efforts under the aegis of fighting “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.” For years, my colleagues and I have been smeared and defamed as “anti-Muslim bigots” for opposing jihad terror. So when Rabbi Feinberg unfurls his banner, it is hard not to think that he is unwittingly aiding an effort to stifle all opposition to the advancing jihad.

    I STRONGLY suggest subscribing to Jihad Watch and affiliated websites. I get so depressed seeing the sheer numbers that are willing to time warp us back to 1930’s Nazi Germany. See the Islamic versions of the Hitler Youth in our universities. The Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palesine

  • Larry Singleton

    From your website: What We Do

    Advocate:

    Against Islamophobia
    Against Prolonged Solitary Confinement
    For closing Guantanamo

    Read Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer.

    And do you know how many of the Muslims released from Gitmo have returned to terrorism? Have you even checked it out? I was raised in San Bernardino where the last ISLAMIC terrorist attack occured. People like me were NOT “shocked” or “surprised”. People like me are INFORMED on the issues. Not the propaganda.

  • Spitfire

    Your website is biased! If anybody says anything that does not coincide with your notion that Islam is just wonderful and peaceful, you delete the posts.

    You should be siding with your fellow persecuted Christians instead of with their oppressors!
    SHAME ON YOU!

  • Spitfire

    Larry, your comments will probably be conveniently deleted, just as mine were.

  • Spitfire

    I agree with everything you say, but check tomorrow and see if your comments are still there. I doubt it.
    Political correctness is killing us!
    I posted several of the many intolerant teachings in the Quran and now they are no longer there.