Saturday, May 21, 2011

Muslims support the Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem in the struggle for his right maintain Residence in the Sacred City

MAS Freedom supports the Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem in the struggle for his right maintain Residence in the Sacred City

We have received today a communication from Jim Vitarello, a longtime Christian activist for human rights in Israel and Palestine, the the Right Reverend Suheil Dawani, the Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem, is being denied the renewal of his "Temporary Residence Status" in the city by Israeli authorities.

Because Jerusalem is recognized as a sacred city in the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we support the human rights and religious freedoms of all members of these Abrahamic communities, and we call on President Obama to raise this critical issue of support for religious freedoms in his upcoming talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

As Muslims, we are called on to advocate for the legitimate rights of all human beings, and in this case, the right of the Palestinian Christian community to both freely live in Jerusalem, along with both Jews and Muslims, and to exercise unrestricted access to their places of worship. Our letter to Jim Vitarello follows:

Dear Jim,

I write, both personally and on behalf of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom) to express our solidarity with The Rt. Rev Suheil Dawani, and with the entire Palestinian Christian community, in the matter of the actions of the Israeli government and their refusal to renew his residency status in Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem is sacred to people of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths, and as such, it should and must be open to the clerical communities of these faiths, and to all those who choose to live and peacefully worship there. Any attempt to abridge this right is incompatible with the moral law that should always guide people of faith.

Please convey our best wishes to Rev. Dawani, and our fervent hope, as a Muslim civil and human rights advocacy organization, that President Obama will raise this critical issue of the human rights of the interfaith community in the State of Israel in his upcoming conversations with the Israeli prime minister.

Thank you,

Ibrahim Ramey
Human and Civil Rights Program Director
MAS Freedom

(703) 642-6165



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