The hateful political rhetoric of recent days, condemning Muslims and even calling for them to be barred from entering the United States, violates our most cherished values as Americans and as Jews. It bears reiterating again that the American promise of safe harbor for religious refugees and religious freedom is a principle as old as our republic.
Incendiary language intended to foment fear and hatred of any group of people must be universally denounced and particularly has no place in political discourse. Recent comments within the current debate about Syrian refugees, themselves victims of terrorism who are seeking to escape from fanaticism and devastation, should cause all American Jews to shudder and reject any suggestion of collective punishment. We are all too aware of the dangers of discrimination and exclusion from safe haven, which resulted in the death and destruction of so many of our people. Religious freedom and respect for the diversity of religions are of vital importance for our democracy to thrive.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston stands together with the Muslim community nationally and here in Boston, in condemning this demonizing rhetoric. Threats against any group of people have no place in our political discourse or in American society.