Maine rabbis deplore mosque desecration

The following statement has been released in response to the anti-Islam graffiti sprayed onto the Maine Muslim Community Center:

We, the undersigned rabbis of Maine, would like to register our collective anger, disappointment and disgust at the desecration of a mosque in Portland by unknown persons in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden.

We are committed to establishing peaceful relations among all faith groups in Maine and to end the kind of racial, religious and ethnic stereotyping from which we as Jews have suffered in many lands and in many time periods.

In all our synagogues recently, we read the following from the book of Leviticus 19:32-34 “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

As we hold this teaching, we stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors.

We hope that the 10th anniversary of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will usher in a new era of interaction, dialogue and understanding among Jews, Christians, Muslims and all other religious groups in Maine.

Rabbis Carolyn Braun, Susan Bulba Carvutto, David Freidenreich, Alice Goldfinger, Akiva Herzfeld, Hillel Katzir, Darah Lerner, William Leffler, Simeon Maslin, Larry Rubinstein and Steven Schwarzman