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Muslims Thank Presbyterian Church for Divestment Vote

By Kristin Szremski


(CHICAGO 07/04/2014) – A coalition of national and local Chicago-area Islamic institutions today sent a letter of gratitude and support to leading members of the Presbyterian Church(USA) in response to the 221st General Assembly’s vote to divest from three companies profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

The vote, which passed by a close margin of 310-303, came after much debate and pressure from outside sources, particularly pro-Israel organizations that have worked for years to defeat divestment efforts within the church.

The Presbyterian divestment resolution made clear a successful vote was not an endorsement of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel, a tool to pressure Israel to abide by international law and end its occupation of Arab lands. But many are hopeful the vote signals a new era in the movement for Palestinian human rights and self-determination.

“Justice is a strong tenet that runs through our faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. … We write to assure you that affording Palestinians their inherent human rights will not detract from the human rights of Jews or Christians living in the region,” the letter states. “We write with great hope that one day we will see a free Palestine and that all people, regardless of creed or heritage, will live in peace, security and with equal rights in the Holy Land. The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s divestment vote means this dream is one step closer to reality.”
The coalition was led by the national education and advocacy organization, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which played an integral role in the interfaith effort supporting Presbyterian divestment.

Other co-signers include: Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Muslim American Society – Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (MAS-PACE); Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA); Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC, representing more than 60 Islamic organizations); Mosque Foundation; Islamic Community Center of Illinois (ICCI) and the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America (MECCA).

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national grassroots organization, whose mission is to educate the American public about issues related to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage. For more information, go to www.ampalestine.org.


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