A Statement from the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council

On August 23, 2010, Shannon Clark, Executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council issued this statement: “The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council’s (GKCIC) vision is to build the most welcoming community for all people. One specific goal of the GKCIC is to work with educational, spiritual, and religious leaders and the media in promoting accurate and fair portrayal of the faiths within our community.”

The remainder of the GKCIC’s statement read:   “Our community is threatened when any faith is misrepresented. The hysteria involved in the controversy over a new Islamic community center, which includes a mosque, in a commercial zone near Ground Zero in New York City requires us to reaffirm the American tradition of religious liberty.  As our Muslim neighbors celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, we recall with appreciation their daily contributions to medicine, business, education, public service, and other dimensions of our community life. They need to know that we claim them as fellow Americans and cherish their part in the religious liberty that makes our community and our nation strong.

The terrorists did not commit a religious act on 9/11; it was murder. Overwhelmingly Muslims locally and worldwide immediately spoke out against the defilement of their faith on that day.  Our citizens still feel the pain of 9/11. Even as we grieve with the victims’ families, we continue to support the principles of freedom and religious liberty upon which our nation is built. The GKCIC honors and embraces our community’s religious differences and strives to ensure that all faiths are welcome to build and grow their places of worship.

The GKCIC, founded in 1989, brings together fifteen vital faith communities of the Kansas City area. The council meets on a monthly basis to work toward its mission of growing a sustainable pervasive culture of knowledge, respect, appreciation, and trust amongst all people. Members of the following faith groups serve on the council: American Indian, Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Christian Orthodox, Christian Protestant, Christian Roman Catholic, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Paganism, Sikhism, Sufism, Unitarian Universalism, Vedanta, and Zoroastrianism.

The members of the GKCIC believe that by raising awareness of our differences and similarities, by building relationships, and through education, the community can learn to respect and value its neighbors of many faiths. The GKCIC offers education about the fifteen faith groups through the GKCIC “Speakers Bureau.” Please contact the GKCIC at www.kcinterfaith.org or 913-548-2973 for information on how to arrange for a speaker at your place of work, your school, or your place of worship and to learn about our other interfaith programs.”

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