WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 4, 2013) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) met today with Muslim and Jewish leaders from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to discuss combating anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate.
The meeting follows a May 20th report by the U.S. Department of State, which finds that anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry are on the rise around the world. The report showed that anti-Semitism is increasing in the Middle East and parts of Europe and South America, while anti-Muslim hate is growing across Europe and parts of Asia.
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental value,” Rep. Ellison said. “The growing suppression of religious freedom around the world limits people’s expression of the values they hold dearest. The best way to combat hate is through understanding. I was proud to meet with leaders from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, who are working to promote a dialogue, and to support religious tolerance in their communities.”
“As the first Jewish woman to represent the state of Florida in the United States Congress, I am so proud to be a strong voice on many issues crucial to our community – including tolerance and understanding,” Rep. Wasserman Schultz said. “I believe that the foundation of the United States, and a more tolerant world, is built upon appreciating the strengths of our unique cultures and backgrounds. On this journey and all of your time together in Washington, your shared commitment of promoting peace, understanding, and respect among our communities provides a true vision of interfaith leadership for the future. Together, we can work to eradicate anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, built on memory of the past and a shared vision of a peaceful future.”
“Far too often, we see religious freedom challenged around the world and faiths put at odds with one another, mired in generations of misunderstanding and mistrust,” said Congressman Carson. “We have to find ways to extinguish hate, build upon our commonalities, and pursue our shared visions for the future. This forum and the leaders here today provide an example of how we can best do that. I am honored to have been a part of this gathering.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues – Reps. Ellison, Carson and Wasserman Schultz – in meeting with faith leaders from around the world in order to combat the rise of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Bigotry and persecution of religious or ethnic minorities have no place in any society, and we must join forces, in recognition of our common humanity, to spread tolerance.”