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Good News: Florida Church Condemns Anti-Muslim Bias

The following is a letter received by the Florida office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations in response to a recent incident of anti-Muslim

“I am writing on behalf of the leaders of the Woodlawn Presbyterian Church
who at their most recent session meeting voted unanimously to send this
letter of encouragement to you and the families of the Community Education

“We are saddened that students and staff of the school were the victims of
a crime and an act of hate earlier this month, when someone scrawled
terrible messages on the walls of your Islamic educational center in Lutz.

“Please know that we condemn this awful behavior and it does not represent
the values of the majority of our community. We condemn bigotry and hate
in all its forms. Our Christian beliefs compel us to speak out against this

As Christians and Americans we believe in freedom of religion and firmly
believe that all Americans should be able to worship God as they choose
without concern for intimidation and threats. We believe that the acts of
vandalism and hate were cowardly acts by people who do not understand nor
practice the true values of our country.

In response to this incident, you were quoted in the St. Pete Times as
saying, ‘Our faith does not teach violence.’ We agree and add that our
faith, also, does not teach violence. We call upon all people of faith to
stand together in Tampa Bay for peace and justice for all. People of faith
must speak up for freedom of religion in our own community, our country and
in the world. We pray that some good will may be a positive outcome
following this unfortunate and terrible incident.”


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