Religious discrimination runs rampant in America, a country that was founded on freedom of religion. Pew Research Center reports that the majority of Americans view Muslims unfavorably. Similarly, Jewish people make up less than 3% of the American population, but the majority of reported religiously based hate crimes target Jewish people or institutions. In turn, religious minorities do not feel safe in America. In a new study by the American Jewish Committee, ⅓ of Jewish Americans reported concealing outward indications of their being Jewish. Generation Ratify condemns all religious discrimination.
WHAT WE WILL FIGHT FOR...
We will fight to protect American’s right to wear religious garb and groomings. Because whether it be a dastar, kippah, burqa, or any other religious head covering or clothing item, we believe outlawing head-coverings is Christocentric, discriminatory, and an act of religious intolerance. We believe that religious garb and grooming should be respected and protected in all public locations. This issue particularly affects gender equality, because women are more frequent wearers of religious garb.
We will fight for women’s freedom from religion in addition to their freedom to practice. Because the First Amendment means that no one religion can affect an individual’s right. This issue particularly affects women and true gender equality cannot be achieved until women are free to do what they want, regardless of their or other’s religious beliefs.
We will fight for increased transparency in hate crime statistics. Because there is dramatic underreporting of hate crimes in the United States. We believe that having accurate statistics about hate crimes is vital to writing legislation that combats hate crimes and so we demand greater transparency in hate crimes.
We will fight to hold employers and educational centers responsible for accommodating religious holidays. Because the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom, and all religious people in the United States are entitled to their celebration of their holidays, and should not be prevented from celebrating by school or work.
We will fight to make comparative religion and religious tolerance education accessible in secondary education institutions. Because intolerance is largely rooted in ignorance. We believe if we teach students to celebrate and respect different cultures, these students will be stronger allies to religious minorities in the future.
We will fight to make religious food accommodations common place in public schools. Because everyone should be able to eat without worrying about their religious practices, and school lunches in particular are necessary resources for many children so they must be accommodating.
“Assalamualaikum. May peace be upon you. I am a proud Muslim. I love my religion and the values I learned. Being a Muslims teaches me to be a patient, calm and kind person. I’m still struggling with the first two but my religion teaches me to be a better person. That’s what all our religions do, teach us to be better. But if that’s the case, then why are we at this point. Why are you bullying my mom for her hijab? Why are you bullying me for not eating pork? Why are you making fun of someone fasting? Why does missing school on Eid-al Fitr such a burden? Why are we at that point? Something must be done. Schools and work must address these issues and educate religious tolerance to their people. Schools and work need to be more accepting and hold others accountable. Schools and work need to protect us. Regardless of who we are, Jewish, Muslims, Catholic, Hindu, Sikh or even an Atheist, we do not deserve this treatment for how we practice our religion. I understand religion isn’t as huge as it was centuries ago but it doesn’t mean criticize someone for it. Everyone is different and it is important to recognize that. There is no right or wrong when it comes to practicing religion. We must accept it and hold others accountable for their wrong actions.”
- Tasfia Ahmad, NJ, Generation Ratify NJ Chapter Lead