"September 11th is a hard day for many Americans, but it's important not to get caught up in rhetoric and religious hatred. Terry Jones and his church, the Dove World Outreach in Gainesville, Florida, plan a ceremony to burn the Qur'an this Saturday. Not only is this day one of remembrance, this year it is also the day that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. His actions are not only hateful, but are the antithesis of what America stands for and the image we want to present to the world. America is composed of many faiths including over 5 million Muslims (U.S. News and World Report 2008.) Freedom of Religion is just as important as freedom of speech and we cannot stand silent and allow one ignorant congregation to incite hatred or misrepresent most of the American population's true feelings. As a sign of good will we ask you to join us this Saturday for a peaceful gathering on the quad. Not for speeches or rhetoric, just for Americans of all faiths and creeds to come together and meet, play Frisbee, talk and to acknowledge that we are against hate and for understanding."
The JMU Interfaith Coalition stands with groups around the country and the world in calling for solidarity and an end to divisive fear-mongering. This coming weekend will be very special: both Judaism and Islam will celebrate holy days even as the U.S. observes the 9th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks. As the JMU Interfaith Coalition soberly wishes our brothers and sisters shana tova and Eid karim, we call upon the JMU community to take time this weekend to reaffirm our commitment to building a better world through improving understanding and serving others, and to affirm our solidarity with the Muslim community in this country and around the world. You will find our full statement at our website:.