We Stand with our Muslim Neighbors

Friends,

We realize there has been a lot of constantly changing information already out there about the upcoming rally this Saturday, 6/10 in Seattle, by Act for America, recognized by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group (now slated to take place at Seattle City Hall plaza, 600 4th Avenue). While faith leaders have been involved in conversations with an ad hoc group planning a counter presence this Saturday, FAN, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and other faith organizations have decided not to sign on organizationally.

While solidarity with our Muslim neighbors has been lifted up as a primary value in planning for the counter-presence there, we realize that there will be a diversity of voices and expressions in how that counter-presence manifests itself, which may or may not be consistent with public vigils that local faith communities have traditionally convened.  We appreciate the significant thoughtfulness and conversation in planning among people and groups, some of whom have been meeting for the first time. That being said, we want to share some options for faith community members who will participate downtown or who choose to express solidarity in other ways.

We offer the following list of possibilities before/during/after 6/10:

The most important thing is we are there for one purpose, one message: We Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors. Whatever happens Saturday will have the greatest impact on their communities.

Between now and Saturday:

  • Contact the media as people of faith, with op-eds and letters to the editor. These can be sent to:letters@seattletimes.com; letters@nytimes.com; or letters@washingtonpost.com to name a few. Please let us know if you are willing to do media interviews, like these wonderful faith leaders speaking on KING 5 Tuesday night.
  • Please download these pdfs for 8.5×11 or 11×17 signs to be displayed publicly in your faith communities/homes/cars/businesses, to show your support; download this flyer for more information. We want to leaflet the city with this message this weekend, during our Muslim neighbors’ holy month of Ramadan.
  • A sign delegation is planning to go out in downtown Seattle and ask businesses to post these signs on Friday 6/9, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM; please contact Rev. Mike Denton revdenton@gmail.com or FAN at 206-625-9790 if you’d like to be part of that effort.

On Saturday, join with other faith community members to be OBSERVERS or LEAFLETTERS:

  • Meet at Plymouth Church on 6th and Seneca at 8:45 AM to finalize plan and walk to site of Act for America rally. Our purpose is to be a presence of peace and non-violence, observing what is happening, perhaps documenting by social media. Leafletters will share an information sheet that describes the positive contributions of our American Muslim neighbors, what Sharia Law really is, and counters the Islamophobia the rally is trying to spread. FAN Governing Board Co-Chair Rev. Carol Jensen will be the contact point for LEAFLETTERS: Contact fan@fanwa.org or 206-625-9790 before 5 PM on Friday and we’ll put you in touch with Carol. If you’re interested in joining a conference call preparing/training OBSERVERS at 3 PM on Friday, email Rev. Mike Denton at revdenton@gmail.com.

After Saturday:

  • Get to know your Muslim neighbors through interfaith Iftar dinners during Ramadan; see this list for the Puget Sound area.
  • Continue reaching out to media in your community.
  • Visible gatherings and education opportunities for faith leaders and faith communities about countering Islamophobia will be held after Ramadan. Stay tuned!

Please share this message with your networks. In peace,

Elise and Paul