A Statement on Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Categories: Press Releases


December 9, 2015

To the Union Community,

The recent presence of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the mainstream media narrative is morally unconscionable. In response, we would like to share the statement found below which was originally shared on our Facebook page:

Fear-mongering based on anti-Muslim hate is at its most visible, with recent calls by political candidates for a ban on Muslim immigration, for closings of mosques, and for the registration of Muslim Americans. This is a dangerous moment in America and we pray that this isn’t the turn towards fascism it appears to be. Reports of hate crimes against Muslims and those who “appear” Muslim are also on the rise. We are morally and religiously appalled by this turn of events, and we are frightened not only by the language of leaders, but by the hatred it seems to inspire in increasingly large audiences. But, American Islamophobia did not start with any recent political speech. It goes back decades and generations, and is part of a larger system that thrives on the dehumanization, scapegoating, and marginalization of diverse communities. As a religious and educational institution, we unequivocally condemn any action, statement, sentiment, or policy that denigrates the full dignity and humanity of our Muslim neighbors. At Union, we work to build leaders for communities that welcome all people, embracing all races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities. Our field of Interreligious Engagement promotes groundbreaking academic and public work on this critical topic, and we are grateful for the contributions of our Professor of Islam and Ministry, Jerusha Lamptey. In this moment, may we stand together in solidarity to transform divisions rooted in bigotry, hatred, and fear into a community of radical inclusion and revolutionary love.

We hope in the deepest places of our hearts that you will join the community of Union to work to share this message of revolutionary love.


Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
President and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy

Dr. Mary Boys
Dean of Academic Affairs and Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology

Dr. Jerusha Lamptey
Assistant Professor of Islam and Ministry

Dr. John Thatamanil
Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions

Dr. Pamela Cooper-White
Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion