American Jewish World Service Opposes Growing Calls to Discriminate Against Muslims

Leading Jewish international human rights organization draws on lessons of Jewish history and underscores need to speak against bigotry

New York, NY—In the wake of rising calls by politicians, elected officials and others to discriminate against Muslims—increasing in response to terrorist attacks undertaken by Islamist individuals and organizations—American Jewish World Service released the statement below from its president, Ruth W. Messinger. In this statement, AJWS, the leading Jewish international development and human rights organization, asserts that the lessons of Jewish history demand that Jews and others stand up against discrimination and intolerance and for the human dignity and rights of all, including Muslims. Moreover, AJWS underscores the common values it shares with its Muslim partners worldwide.

Statement of Ruth W. Messinger

“As Jews, we are all too familiar with hateful and toxic statements about religious minorities, including Jews, which aim to strip them of their dignity and humanity and far worse. We understand from millennia of persecution of Jews by governments, religious institutions and demagogues that we cannot stand idly by while the dignity of another religious group or any other minority is under attack,” said Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service.

“As Jews who work closely and collaboratively with Muslim partners worldwide to end poverty and advance human rights, we are compelled to speak out clearly and strongly against bigotry and hatred directed at Muslims anywhere in the world,” added Messinger.

“At times such as these, when demagogues exhort us to mistrust and hate others, we draw inspiration from recognizing the common humanity and values we share with our Muslim partners and millions of other Muslims worldwide,” she said.

“Among the many Muslim colleagues we have worked with over the decades are imams in Senegal who succeeded in ending the practice of female genital cutting in that country; groups of girls and women in India who are fighting to end the practice of early and child marriage; and activists in Burma who are committed to ensuring that this fledgling democracy respects the rights of all of its citizens, including the Rohingya Muslims, who are being targeted for genocide by Buddhist nationalists,” added Messinger.


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