Condemning the Disturbing Increasing Trend of Violence Towards Individuals and Institutions Based on Faith

Adopted at the 87th Annual Meeting in 2019

  • WHEREAS, as mayors and local leaders we have a responsibility to protect our cities by recognizing and confronting the growing threat of hate crimes and related violence; and

    WHEREAS, we recognize the disturbing trend showing an increase in acts of violence and aggression targeting individuals and institutions on the basis of faith; and

    WHEREAS, we strongly denounce anti-Semitism, bigotry against Muslims, and all forms of racism as antithetical to essential American values; and

    WHEREAS, freedom of religion is a foundational pillar of our constitution and a cornerstone our national identity; and

    WHEREAS, the first amendment to the Constitution established the United States as a country committed to the principles of tolerance and religious freedom, and the 14th amendment to the Constitution established equal protection of the laws as the heart of justice in the United States; and

    WHEREAS, confronting the scourge of faith-targeted violence has affected cities and municipalities of all sizes across our nation; and

    WHEREAS, we condemn those who exploit bigotry and weaponize hate and target traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence; and

    WHEREAS, anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews; rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities; and

    WHEREAS, anti-Muslim bigotry entails prejudicial attitudes towards people who are or perceived to be Muslim, including the irrational belief that Muslims are inherently violent, disloyal, and foreign; and are subjected to false and dangerous stereotypes and myths including unfair allegations that they sympathize with individuals who engage in violence or terror or support the oppression of women, Jews, and other vulnerable communities; and

    WHEREAS, it is counter to the laws of our nation to violate an individual's civil rights based on their faith, whether actual or perceived; and

    WHEREAS, all Americans have a responsibility to fight bigotry and hatred in all its forms that target people based on religion, race, or place of birth and origin,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors condemns the proliferation of hate crimes; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance; condemns anti-Semitic acts and statements as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors acknowledges the harm suffered by Muslims and others from the harassment, discrimination, and violence that result from anti-Muslim bigotry; condemns anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against all minorities as contrary to the values of the United States; encourages all public officials to confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry to ensure that the United States will live up to the transcendent principles of tolerance, religious freedom, and equal protection as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the first and 14th amendments to the Constitution,

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors affirms our commitment to defend the fundamental American right of individuals to practice the faith of their choosing free from fear or persecution.

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