Amol Sinha is the director of the Suffolk Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Religious liberty is a core American value, like free speech and equal protection under the law.
But Congressman Peter King doesn’t seem to understand this. If he did, he wouldn’t be singling out Muslim Americans for suspicion.
In March, King made news for leading hearings in the House of Representatives on the so-called “radicalization” of the Muslim American community. He plans to hold more hearings of the same sort in the future, which serve only to demonize Muslim residents, inflame existing tensions, and harm communities.
The Long Island Neighbors for American Values is a newly formed coalition that began in response to King’s unjust and misguided hearings. We are a group of social justice organizations and religious and interfaith groups dedicated to combating anti-Islamic bias, and promoting diversity, religious freedom, and acceptance.
Along with the Weaving the Fabric of Diversity committee of First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, Long Island Neighbors is holding a rally on Saturday, May 21, at the congressman’s Massapequa Park office to send him a clear message: Congress has no business singling out the religious beliefs of one group of Americans for suspicion. No good comes from needlessly targeting an entire religious community.
The coalition members believe that Long Island, New York State, and our country are stronger when people work together. We embrace the core American principles of religious liberty and equality, and we invite local community members to stand together and reject all attempts to discriminate or otherwise target individuals or groups based on religion or ethnicity – including Congressman King’s misguided hearings.
We hope you’ll come to our rally Saturday and help tell Congressmen King that protecting our First Amendment freedoms and embracing religious diversity both honors our values and keeps us safe.
For more information, contact the Nassau or Suffolk chapters of the New York Civil Liberties Union at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Long Island Neighbors for American Values Rally/Protest Against Bias and Discrimination on Long Island
Saturday, May 21, noon–2pm
District Office of Rep. Peter King, 1003 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park
The First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn and the Long Island Neighbors for American Values coalition.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Long Island Chapter
Empire Justice Center
Hillside Islamic Center
Islamic Center of Long Island
Jaam’e Masjid, Bellmore
Jobs with Justice
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
Long Island Civic Participation Project.
Long Island Council of Churches
Long Island Muslim Association
Long Island Teachers for Human Rights
Long Island Wins
Masjid Darul Qu’ran
Muslim Law Association at Hofstra
Muslim Peace Coalition
Muslims on Long Island
New York Civil Liberties Union, Nassau Chapter
New York Civil Liberties Union, Suffolk Chapter
Pax Christi, LI
Social Justice Committee of UUCSR
Society of American Law Teachers
Strong Youth Inc.
The Workplace Project