Mayor Edwin Lee, Interfaith Leaders Denounce Anti-Muslim Hate Speech

ING is a proud signatory on this timely statement. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee along with numerous faith leaders in the California Bay Area today issued joint statements denouncing the recent wave of anti-Muslim and anti-minority hate speech and hate crimes. The close collaboration and active support of these leaders and organizations is of extreme importance in safeguarding the very democratic principles and freedoms that have made the United States a truly exceptional home for religious pluralism. The statements appear below:


San Francisco Faith Leaders Denounce Anti-Muslim Hate Speech

People of faith and the religious beliefs they profess share much in common – the desire for a peaceful world, respect for one another and the commitment to strive collaboratively to advance social justice and philanthropy for the common good.

Current attempts to isolate and demonize our Muslim sisters and brothers violate our common beliefs, indeed our American ideals, and cannot and must not be allowed to prevail.

Freedom of religion is a basic tenet of our Constitution, a legacy entrusted to us by our country’s founders. Just as the early settlers came to America to find freedom to practice their religion, so too should that inalienable right be ensured for those who seek to freely express their religious beliefs today.

G.L. Hodge, Chair, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Rita R. Semel, Past Chair, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Michael G. Pappas, Executive Director, San Francisco Interfaith Council
San Francisco Interfaith Council Board of Directors

Resident Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin, San Francisco Muslim Community Center
Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California
Fatih Ferdi Ates, Director, Pacifica Institute – SF & East Bay
Rev. Dr. John A. Buehrens, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Society of SF
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco
Sister Chandru Desai, Director, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center
Rev. Elizabeth Ekdale, Lead Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
Maha Elgenaidi, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President, University of San Francisco
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Iftekhar Hai, President, United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance
Mark W. Holmerud, Bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Calvin Jones, Jr., Senior Pastor, Providence Baptist Church
Rabbi Doug Kahn, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
The Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Jr., Executive Director, United Religions Initiative
Rev. Ronald Kobata, Resident Minister, Buddhist Church of San Francisco
Rev. Dr. James McCray, Jr., Executive Director, Tabernacle Community Development Corp.
Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, Pastor, Glide Memorial Church
Robert T. Phillips, The Baha’i Community in San Francisco
Rabbi Lawrence Raphael, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Sherith Israel 
Rabbi Beth Singer, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Emanu-El
Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Emanu-El
Swami Tattwamayananda, Minister, Vedanta Society of Northern California
Bishop Robert Turley, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Rev. John Weems, Pastor, Calvary Presbyterian Church
The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young, Dean, Grace Cathedral

For additional information, please contact Michael G. Pappas at (415)


San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s Statement
in Support of Muslim Community

After a meeting in City Hall on Thursday, 12/10 which ING’s Maha Elgenaidi attended with other Muslim and Arab community leaders, Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement in support of the Muslim community in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the United States:

“I condemn the continued anti-Muslim rhetoric and discriminatory policies suggested by Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. This dialogue does not represent American values and certainly does not represent San Francisco values.

San Francisco is a leader in welcoming all, and we will never tolerate the marginalization or discrimination of any person or group. Just yesterday, I met with representatives and leaders from the Muslim community in City Hall who let me know, firsthand, the discrimination they feel. And, today, I met with other West Coast Mayors to discuss how we can continue to support all of our communities and make sure that whether in our schools, on our streets or in our workplaces, everyone is respected. Our diversity makes our City strong.”