Americans Respect Other Faiths

Most Americans support and respect other peoples’ faiths as is borne out by a letter written to Professor Akbar Ahmed (Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University) by Rabbi Kenneth Cohen, Executive Director of the Hillel Foundation:

Dear Professor Ahmed,
I read about this outrageous desecration of the Qur’an at Guantanamo and am both revolted and ashamed that Americans behaved in such a fashion.
This is an affront to all of us. Not only does it show shocking disregard for the feelings of Muslims but is an intolerable act of disregard for the God of Abraham/Ibrahim. I regard this as a desecration of my own religion.
I would ask Muslims to understand and appreciate that most Americans are disgusted by this sort of brutish behavior and find it both deeply offensive and incompatible with American ideas of freedom and tolerance. I fully understand Muslim anger at this provocation.
I would implore Muslims to resolutely affirm in heart, mind and deed the highest values that we all share as children of Abraham/Ibrahim and not to express their justifiable anger in such a manner which would endanger innocent Americans and other westerners. God/Allah will judge those who are guilty. Our duty -- all of us -- is to protect the innocent.
I cherish the Qur’an which you gave to me a few years ago and keep it with my own Jewish sacred texts. I deplore the destruction of any book, much less one which is of central and sacred value.
Please circulate this message to members of the Muslim community with my blessing for peace.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.