Interfaith Leaders Release Statement of Unity Calling on FL Attorney General to Uphold Justice for All

February 11, 2008

We, the undersigned, call upon all Americans of conscience to counter the Islamophobia disseminated through the screening of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" by the Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Friday, January 18, 2008. We call on the Attorney General to represent the mandate of his office, which is to preserve the safety of all Floridians and not to target any group with bigotry emanating from propaganda which threatens a vulnerable population.

A tool of propaganda, this film seeks to turn extremist rhetoric and images from mostly obscure media outlets in the Middle East into a reflection of mainstream Muslim society. Above all, "Obsession" promotes Islamophobia (fear, suspicion and mistrust of all things related to Islam and Muslims) and incites hysteria, fear, hate mongering, and alienation of the Muslim American community.

As upholders of justice, it is the duty of Attorney General McCollum and his staff to maintain fairness and neutrality with the people of this nation. Exposure to such a film neglects these principles by encouraging bias and hatred against an entire group of people. We urge Mr. McCollum to end the cycle of fear, hate, and marginalization of groups, and work together with all communities to protect our country.

As partners in solidarity, we ask you, a leader of our nation, to break the walls of fear and embrace paths of dialogue. Specifically, we ask you to join us in calling upon the Attorney General of Florida to:

1. Hold a meeting with Muslim Americans and people of conscience to discuss the ramifications of showing propaganda like "Obsession"

2. Schedule a presentation to all staff in the Attorney General's office to provide effective tools in countering the threat of terrorism without stereotyping and scapegoating the Muslim American community or Islam;

3. Hold a rally to unite all Floridians for the common purpose of upholding justice and security for all.


Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, Ph.D.

  • Co-Executive Director
  • Abraham's Vision

Gibran Bouayad

  • Director of Operations
  • Abraham's Vision

Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs

  • Progressive Faith Foundation

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith

  • Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Rev. Jerald M. Stinson

  • Senior Minister
  • First Congregational Church of Long Beach

Bishop Steve Gilliland and Judy Gilliland

Shakeel Syed

  • Executive Director
  • Islamic Shura Council of Southern California

Reverend Ed Bacon

  • Rector
  • All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena

Reverend George Regas

  • Founder
  • The Regas Institute

Rabbi Jack Moline

  • Board Member
  • The Interfaith Alliance



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