Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the General Assembly Mission Council, have issued the following statement:
As we are nearing the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we continue our prayers for those who lost their lives or were injured, as well as their loved ones. At the same time, we join with others in expressing deep concern about the anti-Muslim sentiments and actions that are being expressed across the country in general and about the building of Cordoba House and mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center in New York City in particular.
We are keenly aware that many Muslims, as well as Jews, Christians, Hindus, Presbyterians and others, lost family members in the attacks on September 11, 2001. We recognize, as does the Muslim community around the world, that a group of Muslims who embraced terrorism and teachings counter to the Qur'an and Islam carried out the attacks.
We stand with the majority of Muslims—including American Muslims—who are working against such radical influences in their communities. They have our support for building the Cordoba House as a community center dedicated to learning, compassion, and respect for all people. Their effort is consistent with our country’s principle of freedom of religion and the rights all citizens should enjoy.