From the Nationl Council of Churches:
New York, March 4, 2010 -- the general secretary of the National Council of Churches will be among the religious leaders addressing a 2 p.m. rally in Times Square Sunday to protest Congressional hearings aimed at investigating Muslims in the United States.
The hearings are organized by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chair of the House Homeland Security committee. Critics say the hearings on Islam are reminiscent of McCarthyism and will tend to "demonize" Muslims.
The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary, has been at the forefront of activities supporting the freedom of religion for all U.S. residents, including Muslims who have been targets of anti-Islam discrimination and open attacks for years, especially in the decade following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Last year Kinnamon defended the building of the Cordoba Community Center and Mosque in downtown Manhattan, and helped organize an interfaith summit to protest a threat by a Florida church to burn the Quran.
In earlier statements, Kinnamon has strongly affirmed religious liberty and tolerance for all groups. "We are made richer and deeper in our Christian community by our relationship with Muslim and Jewish groups."
The March 6 rally, meeting under the banner, "I Am a Muslim, Too," is expected to be attended by more than 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental and civil liberties groups.
Dr. Kinnamon was one of my professors at Eden Theological Seminary and I had the pleasure of working as his teaching assisant my final semester in 2005.
Rep. King's hearings to investigate Muslim Americans are the definition of un-American. As I have said before, these hearings bring to mind the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings, dark periods in this land. We should never forgot the lessons of those experiences. The U.S. House of Representatives should not be used as a venue for religious or political persecution.