Interreligious Statement of Solidarity with the Muslim Community of Minnesota

Member Submitted Commentary

As members of Minnesota’s diverse religious communities, we stand together in strong condemnation of the recent attack on the Muslim Al Maghfirah (MAG-FIRAH) Cemetery in Castle Rock Township (watch news conference at

This is not the first incident of such attacks. We join our voices to speak against the desecration of a cemetery of our Muslim sisters and brothers in Minnesota. These threats of violence to a sacred place of burial are deplorable. Such threats are intended to arouse fear and to violate religious feelings. We refuse to be intimidated and to succumb to fear. We stand side-by-side with the Muslim community in courageous resistance to such unacceptable and shameful acts.

We are committed to the ongoing work of building inclusive communities in Minnesota where members of all religious traditions feel safe and supported in their places of worship, and in public spaces, to affirm their religious identities and to practice their faiths without fear. Our freedom to profess and practice our faiths without fear is fundamental to our human rights. Threats and acts of violence against any faith are a threat to us all. We stand in solidarity with, and extend our support to, our Muslim neighbors in resisting intimidation and fear.

Co-signed by:

  • Vishal Agarwal, Member of Trustee Executive Council, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Pooja Bastodkar, President of Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Lee Blons, CEO/President, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
  • Lee Burdge, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Becca Buse, Interfaith Leader, Interfaith Youth Core Alumni
  • Zan Christ, Multifaith Practitioner and Public Speaker
  • Rabbi Norman M. Cohen, Founding Rabbi Emeritus, Bet Shalom Congregation
  • Rev. Richard H. Coleman, Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Ben Connelly, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
  • Genjo Conway, Mirror Lake Temple
  • Charles Curry, Evangelist, Community of Christ
  • Curtiss DeYoung, Minnesota Council of Churches
  • Tom Duke, Lutheran pastor (ret.)
  • John Emery, Executive Director, Islamic Resource Group
  • Sosan Theresa Flynn, Guiding Teacher, Clouds in Water Zen Center, St. Paul
  • Ram Gada, Founding Member and Past President of the Jain Center of Minnesota
  • Hans Gustafson, Ph.D., Director, Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies, University of St. Thomas
  • Rev. K.P. Hong, Minister at Unity Church-Unitarian
  • Patrice Clark Koelsch, Buddhist Chaplain, Common Ground Community Member
  • Bill Konrardy, Anti-racist, United Methodist Church
  • Jessi LeClear Vachta, Independent Interfaith Consultant
  • Rev. John Matthews, ELCA Clergy and Adjunct Instructor, Augsburg University, Minneapolis
  • Shehla Mushtaq, Interfaith Circle
  • Julia Nerbonne, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
  • Joy Persall, Ojibwe Metis
  • Mary Pickard, Unitarian Universalist
  • Anantanand Rambachan, Emeritus Professor of Religion, Saint Olaf College
  • Dr. Leon A Rodrigues, Chief Diversity Officer – Luther Seminary
  • Bradley E. Schmeling, Senior Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul
  • Zafar Siddiqui, Board Chair, Al-Amal School
  • Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul
  • Prabhat Tekriwal, Hindu Leader
  • Rev. Dr. Trish Sullivan Vanni, Pastoral Director, Charis Ecumenical Catholic Community, Eden Prairie

Also published by:
Jay Phillips Center News
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

Read More about the Castle Rock Township incident:

Minnesota Multifaith Network (MnMN) helps facilitate cooperative efforts like the statement above. Resources like this are shared by MnMN in the spirit of collaborative learning and sharing and not as an endorsement or sponsorship of any particular organization or position.

Other Posts You May Be Interested In

Multifaith Leadership Seminar

MnMN is pleased to update members, partners, and friends about this year’s Multifaith Leadership Seminar, an exciting joint initiative between Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious

Read More »