Press Release: RI Faith Leaders Support Muslim Community

Press Release, December 15, 2015

RI Faith Leaders Unite in Support of Muslim Community;

Imam Farid Ansara also announces the first in a series of
open-house gatherings at local mosques 
this Saturday, December 19 at
The Islamic Center of Rhode Island,  39 Haskins St, Providence.

Providence — The Rhode Island Community for Muslim Advancement today held a press conference as a forum for leaders of the state’s faith communities to speak out and show support for the local Muslim community. Among the speakers were:

Bishop Nicholas Knisely – Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
Bishop James Hazelwood – New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Wiles – American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island
The Rev. Andrew Mook – Sanctuary Church
The Rev. Dr. Don Anderson – The Rhode Island State Council of Churches
Rabbi Sarah Mack – Rhode Island Board of Rabbis
Toby Ayers – Rhode Island for Community and Justice
Jim Vincent – NAACP

Imam Farid Ansari, of the Islamic Center served as moderator and invited all Rhode Islanders to visit a mosque in the coming weeks. “Come see who we are and what we’re about,” he said. The first open house will be held this Saturday, December 19, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Islamic Center of Rhode Island, 39 Haskins St, Providence. The public is warmly invited.

According to Imam Ansari, “We join all faith communities and people of conscience in condemning the heinous actions, such as in Paris and San Bernadino. Openly and unambiguously, we declare that these acts do not represent Islamic faith and practices. Through all this, in recent weeks the American-Muslim community has seen unprecedented support from public officials, law enforcement, faith communities and fellow citizens, and we are indeed grateful.”

“With Donald Trumps’ call to block Muslims from entering the United States, he becomes the very definition of demagogue,” said Rev. Dr. Donald Anderson, Executive Minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, “who preys upon and takes advantage of peoples’ fear and ignorance for his own political aims. We need leaders who will stand up for the rights of citizens without tarnishing the Muslim community. This is an issue of morality and those who would ostracize and demonize an entire community are just plain wrong,” he said.

For more information, please call Imam Farid Ansari at (401) 274-3986
or Rev. Dr. Don Anderson at the Rhode Island State Council of Churches (401) 461-5558. ###