& other areas of advocacy
Several years after Peaceful Tomorrows formation, it was very obvious to Gloria Williams and Robyn Bernstein Donati that Muslims in America, and those perceived to be Muslim were accepted targets of violence, hate crimes, prejudice, and racism. PT members worked to uphold the Rule of Law and close GITMO, but Muslims in America were suffering and abused, from the very young to the very old. Gloria was especially disturbed by what she saw and approached Robyn to form the Islamophobia committee. From the start, addressing civil rights violations and gun violence have been very important and related priorities. At the time, violence, intolerance, racism, and prejudice were on the rise. It was very important to us that our committee address all of this as hatred and intolerance cause civil rights violations, religious intolerance, harm to civilians, and in extreme cases… War.
Members of Peaceful Tomorrows have shared their voices on issues affecting immigrants as a result of 9/11, rejecting Islamophobia as well as the stereotyping and scapegoating that sometimes accompanied otherwise positive and meaningful reform efforts.
Most recently, members of Peaceful Tomorrows have expressed their support for the creation of an Islamic Cultural Center in Lower Manhattan, referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque.” As a wave of Islamophobia swept the country in 2010, the cultural center became a national issue, making it clear that a larger public education campaign was needed. We forged new kinds of partnerships to bring to new audiences our message about the vital necessity for restoring the rule of law and defending civil liberties and religious freedoms. Protection of religious freedom and human rights strengthens our nation; denying Muslims their rights is un-American. Repressive policies that grow out of fear and hatred play into the hands of the terrorists.