Bishops Join The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign

The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign: Standing with American Muslims, Advancing American Ideals is a US-based, multi-religious coalition of traditions and organizations who are committed to ending anti-Muslim hatred, discrimination, and violence in the Unites States of America.  Its mission is to connect, equip and mobilize faith communities in the US as strategic partners in countering, addressing, and preventing anti-Muslim hatred, discrimination, and violence.  The campaign was begun in 2010 by Rev. Richard Killmer and Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi as a way for faith leaders to collectively address the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate. 
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society has held membership of The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign for a decade, but at its recent gathering in Chicago, the Council of Bishops also voted to become official members.  These two groups will partner to both represent The United Methodist Church and to help our communion engage this important campaign.  The United Methodist Council of Bishops joins over thirty other traditions, such as the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, The Episcopal Church, the National Council of Churches, the Conference of National Black Churches, the Interfaith Alliance, and the Islamic Society of North America in this work.
Shoulder to Shoulder believes that discrimination, violence and bias against Muslims in the US are driven by several factors, including disproportionately negative media coverage of Muslims, negative political rhetoric, and a well-funded industry aimed at spreading misinformation and fear.  Additionally, the discrimination and violence aimed at Muslims is a part of our country’s long history of racism directed toward Black Americans, Native Americans, immigrants and others.  It is also fed by some of the same forces that fuel anti-Semitism and other forms of religious-based bigotry.  In response Shoulder to Shoulder trains, faith leaders.  They build networks to advance community.  And, they mobilize faith voices in the public square. 
Their mission fits well with United Methodist Resolution #6006, which states in part:
“Christians are called to initiate and promote better relationships between Christians
and Muslims on the basis of informed understanding, critical appreciation, and balanced
perspective of one another’s basic beliefs.” 
Joining Shoulder to Shoulder allows the Council of Bishops to work toward fulfilling the recommendations of that resolution, which include: learning more about Islam, initiating dialogue with Muslims, developing awareness of concerns, and promoting understanding.  (Resolution #6006 is entitled Our Muslim Neighbors and can be found in the 2016 Book of Resolutions on pages 519-524.)
For more information about The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, please visit their website at