These protests, diatribes, and campaigns against Park51 violate the ideals of religious freedom to which our country has long aspired. The First Amendment of the Constitution states explicitly that
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
But individuals have taken the application of this freedom into their own hands. It would appear that more extreme voices want this right to apply only to their own religious communities, and not to others. But when one group’s freedoms are threatened, the religious freedom of all Americans is at stake.
In response to the ongoing and often radical criticism of Park51 and its leaders, we are proud to announce the launch of Religious Freedom USA. Religious Freedom USA is a new campaign to safeguard freedom of religion and mobilize Americans to support Park51 as an expression of this core American value. We invite and encourage you to join the movement. Send in a video of support, write a letter to the editor, sign our petition, help organize a local rally, or join us for an event here in New York.
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