For the first time in more than three decades, followers of the Abrahamic faiths will observe their religious holidays at the same time. April 17 will be the actual overlapping day of Easter, Passover and Ramadan, but there are many other holy days during April. This convergence is an important opportunity for us to recommit to our highest ideals for creating and caring for communities where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and fairness.

While we observe these holy days side by side April 17, we have not all been living with the same freedoms and dignity that our country and our religious ideals strive to provide for everyone. We have a responsibility and shared opportunity to counter religious intolerance and racism in the United States. When discriminatory attitudes and behavior boil over into harassment or violent hate crimes, it is essential that we speak out in one voice against such bigotry.

Islam, Judaism and Christianity are called “the Abrahamic religions” because all trace their origins to Abraham, the first person called to a specific mission by God. All three believe in one God and affirm God as all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent and the maker of all creation.

All three faiths develop their own unique interpretations of the mystery of God in their scriptures, but these are interpretations of the same God. In the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Scriptures and the Quran, the belief in a single Creator God is revealed with different aspects and different tones, but the underlying belief is similar.

As organizations were created to respond to antisemitism, so, the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign: Standing with American Muslims, Advancing American Ideals (, was initiated in 2010 at a time when there was intense discrimination against Muslims. Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a national coalition-based campaign of Christian and Jewish denominations and faith-based organizations committed to ending discrimination and violence against Muslims in the United States by equipping, connecting and mobilizing faith leaders to take action.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is working to ensure an America where people of all faith and cultural backgrounds are treated justly. It is advancing this goal by directly engaging faith leaders and communities in the United States to be strategic partners in countering discrimination and violence against Muslims.


Discrimination, violence and bias against Muslims in the U.S. are driven by several factors, including disproportionately negative media coverage of Muslims, negative political rhetoric and a well-funded industry aimed at spreading misinformation and fear. Additionally, the discrimination and violence aimed at Muslims are a part of our country’s long history of racism directed toward African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants and others. They are also fed by some of the same religious intolerance that fuels antisemitism and other forms of religious-based bigotry.

Anti-Muslim bigotry is not just theoretical. The widespread misinformation and fear has led to hate crimes, vandalism, bullying and other forms of violence against Muslims, along with anti-Muslim legislation that curtails the civil rights and freedoms of Americans who are Muslim. The effects of anti-Muslim rhetoric and views have devastating impacts on our neighbors who are Muslim or who are perceived to be.

We are living in an era where our nation is sharply polarized and divided along racial, religious and political lines, and where disinformation and misinformation are used as mobilizing tools for spreading fear and hate.

Our country’s highest ideals of freedom, fairness and dignity for all come into reality when we work together to address religious discrimination in the many ways it shows up in society. Our belief in one loving God calls us to participate in God’s peace-giving. Our religious and ethical traditions offer wisdom for how to best live and work together to co-create communities where we can all flourish. To do this fully, we must name and address the discrimination that prevents us from co-creating the beloved community.

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