We are writing to invite you to participate in a state-wide “Blessed Ramadan” project by putting a sign or banner in your church or temple yard that reads: “To Our Muslim Neighbors: Blessed Ramadan.” Begun by the Minnesota Council of Churches, this is becoming a national call for respect and love.
We are in the context of increased disrespect for Muslims. From hate crimes to a presidential campaign where fear and hate speech seem to becoming more of the norm. That is not who we are in Kentucky. When we are our best selves, we are a welcoming, caring, respectful community and there are people of faith all over the state who want to offer their own witness to that fact.
By posting a sign or banner on your faith community’s campus June 5 - July 5 (Ramadan), you will make a profound statement about your commitment to peace, religious tolerance, and inclusivity. It's a simple statement, but when that message start to show up on the marquee or in the yards of hundreds of congregation and temples in the state, we could very easily see a shared narrative of respect that stands in quiet opposition to the bigotry and hatefulness.
You may also choose to produce inexpensive yard signs for members to put in their private yards. Imagine the impact of thousands of signs in the yards of Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslim faith groups. We could see a great outpouring in the faith community.
To plant a sign of goodwill will do three things:
1. Counter balance the negative narrative in this campaign year.
2. Give Christians, Jews and other people of faith who are longing to offer a signal of good will an opportunity to do just that.
3. Give every faith community and every individual a chance to face the reality of hate that they know is in their community. They will know that just putting the sign in the yard offers a target for some of the hate and fear that unfortunately exists in Kentucky.
We are very concerned about the national narrative of anti-Muslim sentiment, what that is doing to Muslims (especially Muslim children) and what it is doing to the soul of the nation when we allow that narrative to stand without some kind of larger response. We invite you to be a part of redefining that narrative.
For more information about the program, click here.
Peggy C. Hinds, Interim Executive Director
Kentucky Council of Churches
Haleh Karimi, Executive Director
Interfaith Paths to Peace