Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters Statement on the Supreme Court’s Muslim Ban Ruling

Faith-based and humanist groups call on government
and society to reaffirm American values


June 26, 2018 – The Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters campaign, a program of the Islamic Networks Group (ING), is deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to preserve the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. This decision sets a dangerous precedent by upholding a government policy directed against adherents of a specific religion — a policy that targets Muslim-majority countries for religious discrimination.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor points out in her dissenting opinion on the case, “by blindly accepting the Government’s misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security, the Court redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one ‘gravely wrong’ decision with another.

In this time of great sadness, it is essential for America’s interfaith community to stand together in reaffirming our basic values, which we share with the vast majority of Americans:

  • Respect for diversity, pluralism, and religious freedom: The Muslim ban discriminates against people from Muslim-majority countries and is consistent not only with the President’s campaign promises but also with his anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies. As such, this discriminatory ban violates the principles embodied in the First Amendment and our country’s commitment to religious freedom and equality.
  • Care for the stranger and the needy: Our country aspires to welcome and support immigrants and those seeking refuge. Closing our doors to those fleeing horrific violence flies in the face of some of our country’s proudest moments when we welcomed those in need.
  • Civil liberties: The ban clearly targets one religious identity: Muslim. This kind of discrimination reinforces and emboldens prejudice and discrimination against Muslims in the United States.
  • Unity and solidarity: Policies which single out specific religious, racial, or ethnic groups violate the sense of national unity and solidarity that allows the diverse people of our nation to live in peace and harmony.

Since the first version of the Muslim ban was announced in January 2017, we’ve seen countless stories of the harm and pain visited upon people from the targeted countries — and upon their family and friends already in the United States. We also know that policies of this sort have emerged and will continue to emerge as anti-Muslim sentiments grow across all levels of government and society. In response to the turbulence created by the Muslim ban, we, as a collection of faith-based and humanist organizations, call for an increase in:

  • Interfaith engagement, such as interfaith dialogue and events that bring people of diverse traditions together for mutual encounter and learning. To get started, you can find resources through many of our Know Your Neighbor partners, including the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign.
  • Dialogue with our neighbors, of all political, ethnic, religious, economic and racial backgrounds, because the better we know one another, the weaker stereotypes and misinformation become.
  • Engagement with Muslims and their faith, including panel presentations by Muslim speakers and interfaith events in houses of worship or other public venues. To get started you can find resources through many of our Know Your Neighbor partners, including Islamic Networks Group and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

This is a time to come together as a community and uphold our sacred values. Therefore, in responding to the current situation, and to prepare for possible actions in the future that may likewise call our fundamental values into question, we commit ourselves, and call on all who share our concerns, to respect the principle of justice, religious liberty, and equality in word and deed.

  • We will maintain an attitude of charity and openness to all, including those with whom we most profoundly disagree. We will seek to understand their motivations and assume that they are sincerely seeking what is right unless presented with clear evidence to the contrary.
  • In our statements, we will condemn actions but not persons. We will speak firmly but respectfully of and with those whose words and actions we oppose.


American Civil Liberties Union
American Ethical Union
American Leadership Forum Faith Leaders
American Muslim Advisory Council
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Arizona Jews for Justice
Arizona Faith Network
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Bay Area Interfaith Connect
Bridges of Faith Trialogue, Cincinnati
Cantors and Rabbis Association of Greater San Jose
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin
Cincinnati Regional Coalition Against Hate
Colorado Muslim Speakers Bureau
Council of Central Valley Muslim Organizations
Council of Islamic Organizations of Kentucky
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Daughters of Abraham
Delaware Valley Speakers Bureau
Eden Area Interfaith Council
Emgage Action
Euphrates Institute
The Evangelical-Muslim Engagement Project
Faith Matters Network
First Congregational United Church of Christ, Phoenix, Arizona
Fountain Hills Interfaith Alliance
Garden State MOSAIC
Global Immersion Project
Hindu American Foundation
Hope Not Hate
Humanist Community in Silicon Valley
Institute for Social Policy Understanding
Interfaith Arkansas
Interfaith Center at the Presidio
Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia
Interfaith Center of New York
Interfaith Community of Greater Richmond
Interfaith Council of Alameda County
Interfaith Council of Central Florida
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
Interfaith Forum of Greenville (SC)
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston
Interfaith Paths to Peace
International Association for Religious Freedom
Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Islamic Center of North Phoenix
Islamic Education & Resources Network (ILearn)
Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Islamic Networks Group Midwest
Islamic Society of Central Kentucky
Islamic Society of Greater Houston
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Alabama
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Edmonton, Canada
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Greater Houston
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Nebraska
Islamic Speakers Bureau of New York
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Saint Louis
Islamic Speakers Bureau of San Diego
Islamic Speakers Bureau of West Virginia
Jewish Collaborative of San Diego
Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa County
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley Community Relations Council
Know Your Classmates
Marin Interfaith Council
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
Muslim Community Center, East Bay
Muslim-Jewish Connect
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Women’s Organization of Orlando
NAACP of San Jose – Silicon Valley
National Council of Churches
National Sikh Campaign
Network of Spiritual Progressives
New Bridges Presbyterian Church
New Jersey Islamic Networks Group
Not in our Town
One America Movement
The Oracle Institute
Pacifica Institute
People Acting in Community Together (PACT)
Peninsula Multifaith Coalition
The People’s Supper
Phillips Seminary
Presbytery of San Jose-Peace and Justice Task Force
Rabbi Elana Kanter
Religions for Peace USA
Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism
Religious Freedom Center
Safe Alliance of Interfaith Leaders (SAIL)
Salam Speakers Bureau
San Francisco Interfaith Council
Seattle Islamic Speakers Bureau
Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign
The Sikh Coalition
Silicon Valley Interreligious Council
Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom
Speakers Bureau of Nebraska
Spokane Interfaith Council
Stone Creek Zen Center
Tikkun Magazine
Tri City Interfaith Council
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews
The United Church of Christ
Unite Cloud
United Islamic Center of Arizona
United Religions Initiative
Unity Production Foundation
Uri L’Tzedek: The Jewish Orthodox Social Justice Movement
Washington Ethical Society
Welcoming Gainesville
Wisdom Circle Ministry
Women’s Jewish Learning Center
Youth Celebrate Diversity

Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters (KYN-ME) is a program of Islamic Networks Group (ING) with 100 partners representing interfaith, community-based, and civil rights organizations located in all 50 states that work together to dispel stereotypes through education and interfaith engagement. The Know Your Neighbor initiative was first formed and launched as a policymaking effort by the White House in 2016. It was later expanded to include grassroots outreach activity by ING and became known as KYN-ME.