PHILADELPHIA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania proudly stands today with members of the City Council of Philadelphia and with members of the greater Philadelphia community in support of our Muslim friends and neighbors and against Islamophobia. The ACLU of Pennsylvania supports Councilwoman Helen Gym’s resolution reaffirming Philadelphia as a welcoming place for all.

The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“Pluralism and a commitment to equality are part of what defines America. The principle of religious freedom enshrined by the Founders in our Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of our values. American Muslims have been an integral part of the nation since its founding. They are our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. They are us.

“Unfortunately, recent history has seen the rise of hateful rhetoric targeting Muslim Americans and immigrants based on their faith. This is dangerous and un-American. We should resoundingly reject any politics of nativism and fear used to cast blanket suspicion on whole nations and all American Muslims. We should resist these politics through the very values that make us great – a commitment to equality and religious freedom, which are principles enshrined in our founding documents and reflected in our laws.

“Policies targeting entire communities for increased surveillance, excluding the citizens of entire nations for refugee status, or banning the people of an entire faith from entering the country are not only discriminatory, but counter-productive as well.

“The ACLU of Pennsylvania is committed to fighting any efforts by any politicians to enshrine discrimination into the law. We are grateful to Councilwoman Gym and her colleagues who reaffirm the best of American values.”