Posted May 5, 2015


We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.

We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation. 

We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims.  We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur’an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.

We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.

As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance,  respect, and forgiveness.

The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to:
* bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143);
* restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22);
* remain patient in adversity (3186);
* stand firmly for justice (4:135); 
* not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8);
* respect the sanctity of life (5:32);
* turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55); 
* hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199);
* restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128); 
* pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and
* repel evil with what is better (41:34).

Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.

We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.

We therefore call on all Muslims in the United States, Canada and abroad to refrain from violence.  We should see the challenges we face today as an opportunity to sideline the voices of hate—not reward them with further attention—by engaging our communities in constructive dialogue about the true principles of Islam, and the true principles of democracy, both of which stress the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance. 


Prof. Hassan Abbas, Quaid-i-Azam Chair, South Asia Institute, Columbia University
Anisa Abd el Fattah, Founder and Chairwoman, National Association of Muslim American Women (NAMAW)
Khaled M Abdel-Hamid, MD, PhD, writer
Ammar Abdulhamid, Executive Director, Tharwa Foundation
Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Director of Outreach, Dar-Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Imam Aslam Abdullah
Salma Elkadi Abugideiri, Co-Director, Peaceful Families Project
Aly R. Abuzaakouk, VP Minaret of Freedom Instit., Managing Editor “Democracy Watch” of CSID, Dir. of Foreign Relations: Network of Arab Journalists
Mehnaz M. Afridi, PhD, Adjunct Professor (Judaism, Islam & Genocide Studies) Antioch University
Asma Afsaruddin, PhD, Professor of Islamic Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, PhD, Director, Minaret of Freedom Foundation
Ahrar Ahmad, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Black Hills State University
Prof. Akbar S. Ahmed, PhD, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University
Osman Ahmed,PhD, President Islamic Society of Essex County, Newark, NJ
Prof. Parvez Ahmed, PhD, Fulbright Scholar & Assoc. Prof. Univ. of North Florida
Levent Akbarut, Steering Committee member, Islamic Congregation of La Canada Flintridge
Prof. M.Akhtar, President, Muslim Council of America and author of “Muslim Famly in a Dilemma”
Barbara Al-Bayati, Co-Founder, Orphan Whispers
Aman Ali, writer, stand-up-comedian
Javed Ali, founder and publisher, Illume magazine
Wajahat Ali, playwright, journalist, and producer of “Domestic Crusaders”
Sumbul Ali-Karamali, JD, LLM (Islamic Law), author of “The Muslim Next Door”
Shaykh al-Hajj Dawud Ahmad al-Amriki, Director, Muslim America
Salam al-Marayati, Pres., Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Shahed Amanullah, Editor-in-Chief, Altmuslim
Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
Patricia Anton, Board member, Muslim Peace Fellowship
M. Saud Anwar, Co-Chair, American Muslim Peace Initiative
Reza Aslan, Author, Activist, and CEO, Aslan Media
Abdul Cader Asmal MD, PhD, Past President, Islamic Council of Mew England  
Aref Assaf, PhD, President, American Arab Forum
Hussam Ayloush, Exec. Director, CAIR Greater Los Angeles Area
Robert Azzi, photojournalist, writer
Imam Yusuf Badat, Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Mathabah Foundation
Laleh Bakhtiar, PhD, Scholar-in-Residence, Kazi Publications
Hazami Barmada, Pres, American Muslim Interactive Network (AMIN)
Bahar Bastani, M.D., Professor of Medicine, S.L.U., Secy. General Shia Islamic Education Center, VP of IMANA-St. Louis
Victor Ghalib Begg, Senior Advisor, Chairman Emeritus, Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan
Zahra Billoo, Director, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
Omer Bin Abdullah, Journalist, Editor
Jannah bint Hannah, activist, al-Fatiha Foundation
Farah Brelvi, Board of Directors, ACLU-NC
Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director, CAIR-WA
M. Ali Chaudry, PhD, President, Center for Understanding Islam (CUII)
Manzoor Cheema, Muslims for Social Justice
Kamran Cheikh, Activist, Committee member, Muslims for Peace, Justice & Progress (MPJP), researcher for Deen Research Center (DRC)
Noor-Malika Chishti, Vice Chair, So. CA Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Representative, the Sufi Order International, Member, World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relations
Sakina Cornell, Risk Management Coordinator, PSA Healthcare
Vincent J. Cornell PhD, Asa Griggs Candler Prof. of Middle East and Islamic Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University
Robert D. Crane, JD, author of numerous books
Prof Golam Dastagir, PhD, Visiting Research Scholar, New College, University of Toronto, Canada
Almoonir Dewji, blogger - “That We May Know Each Other”
Mustafa Stefan Dill, blogger;/PR/social media analyst for Muslim issues; musician
Nabil Echchaibi, Asst. Professor of Journalism and Communication, Assoc. Director of the Center for Media, Religion and Culture, University of Colorado-Boulder
Maha Elgenaidi, CEO & Chairman, Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Ramsey El-Moslimany, member, Board of Directors, Islamic School of Seattle
Lamia El-Sadek, political and human rights activitist
Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of Communications and Community Outreach for the Islamic Society of N America (ISNA)
Mona Eltahawy, journalist
Dr. Hashim El-Tinay, President, International Peace Quest Institute (IPQI)
Sabina England, playwright & filmmaker, writer
Aziz Enhaili, Political analyst,  columnist for Tolerance.ca
Yusuf Estes, Chaplain ret., author of many books, public speaker
Prof. Mohammad Fadel, PhD
Fatemeh Fakhraie, Editor-in-Chief, Muslimah Media Watch
Melissa Finn, Ph.D Candidate, Political Science, York University, Canada
Ali Galedary, Assistant Principal, University High School, Los Angeles
Mike Ghouse, President, World Muslim Congress
Iftekhar Hai, President, UMA Interfaith Alliance
Asma Hanif, Executive Director, Muslimat Al Nisaa
Rabia Terri Harris, Founder and Coordinator, Muslim Peace Fellowship
Zaki Hasan, Professor of Communication & Media Studies founder zakiscorner.com
Hesham Hassaballa,  M.D., author, journalist, blogger - “God, faith, and a pen”
Amir Hussain, PhD, Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Iftekhar Hussain, Chair, Board of Directors, CAIR-PA
Arsalan Iftikhar, author, human rights lawyer, blogger - “The Muslim Guy”
S. Reshma Inamdar, Northern California Islamic Council, Board and Chair of SEMAH Inc.
Jeffrey Imm, Director, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.)
S. Reshma Inamdar, community activist
Ghazala Irshad, journalist, blogger - “The Floating Lotus”
Nakia Jackson, writer  
Anjum Jaleel, writer
M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD, President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Safi Kaskas, President & CEO Strategic Edge
Mohja Kahf, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Comparative Literature, Univ. of Arkansas,  author “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf”
Dr. Nazir Khaja, Founder, Council of Pakistani American Afffairs (COPAA)
Dr. Asad U Khan, President, Islamic education Foundation of Manitoba
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan, C.M., O. Ontario, President, Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region of Canada
Prof. Muqtedar Khan, PhD, author of several books, Blogger - “Globalog”
Sameen Khan, Freelance Journalist and Research Assistant at Middle East Institute, D.C.
Dr. Mohamed Khodr, Retired Physician and Public Health Director
Farah Kinani, Journalist, blogger - “Global Voices”
Michael Muhammad Knight, author “The Taqwacores” and several books
Scott Kugle (Siraj al-Haqq), PhD, Prof. of Islamic Studies, Dept. of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University
Shaikh Ahmad Kutty, Resident Senior Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto
Faisal Kutty, Visiting Asst. Prof. of law, Valparaiso University School of Law and Adjunct Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto)
Randa Kuziez, co-founder of Maded, active in interfaith
M. Junaid Levesque-Alam, writer, blogger - “Crossing the Crescent” 
David Liepert, M.D., Director and Spokesperson, Muslim Council of Calgary, V.P. Faith of Life Network, blogger and author of “Muslim, Christian AND Jew” 
Afaun Mandol, Board of Directors, MuslimFest
Radwan A. Masmoudi, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID)
Melissa Matos, President, Al-Ghazali Legal Society, Saint Louis University
Prof. Uzma Mazhar, writer
Shelina Merani, community activist, artist, blogger “Muslim Presence”
Ruxana Meer, Esq.
Yahya Merchant, Interfaith Worker, Outreach contact for Islamic Center of Conejo Valley CA
Melody Moezzi, JD, MPH, writer and attorney
Haroon Moghul, writer and public speaker
Muna Abshir Mohamud, author, editor
Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, author of many books of poetry
Ebrahim Moosa, Assoc. Professor of Islamic Studies, Dept. of Religion, Duke University
Prof. Aisha Y Musa, Colgate University
Ann El-Moslimany, PhD, Islamic School of Seattle
Lt. Col. Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad, U.S. Army Chaplain
Toure’ Muhammad, Director Ummahstream
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, President Sound Vision
Arman Musaji, artist
Sheila Musaji, Editor, The American Muslim (TAM)
Muneeb Nasir, President, Olive Tree Foundation, Editor IQRA Canada
Q. Amin Nathari, National Representative, Islam in America Movement (IAM)
Ahmed Naumaan, PhD, Director, Karsaz Inc.
Imam Abdul Hai Patel, Dir. Interfaith Relations, Canadian Council of Imams, Muslim Chaplain University of Toronto & York Regional Police
Aziz H. Poonawalla, PhD, scientist and blogger - “City of Brass” on Beliefnet
Amanda D. Quraishi, Texas Impact
M.Waheed-uz-Zaman Rana, Imam,  Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of Surgery, Saint Louis University
Hasan Zillur Rahim, PhD, journalist
Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid, The Circle Group
Prof. Hussein Rashid, PhD, blogger - “Religion Dispatches”
Shafi Refai, President, United Muslims of America
Zeenat Rehman, co-founder of “The Hijabi Monologues”
Wilfredo A. Ruiz, Esq., Legal Counsel & Chaplain, Executive Director “American Muslims for Emergency and Relief (AMER)
Irfan Rydhan, Co-Founder of Muslim Unity Foundation
Muhamed Sacirbey, lawyer, diplomat, writer
Louay Safi, PhD, Common Word Fellow, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Christian Muslim Understanding, Georgetown University
Ghulam Abbas Sajan, Director Islamic Ahlul Bayt Assembly of Canada
Robert Salaam, blogger - “The American Muslim”
Shahla Khan Salter, Chair of Muslims for Progressive Values Ottawa, Canada
Raquel Evita Saraswati, activist, writer, blogger
Sarah Sayeed, President of One Blue
Corey Saylor, National Legislative Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Vernon James Schubel, NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor of Religious Studies, Kenyon College
Sophia Rose Shafi, MA, MTS, doctoral candidate (Islamic Studies), writer
Nehal M. Shah,  Executive Director, the Alim Foundation
T.O. Shanavas. MD, Vice President, Islamic Research Foundation, author
S. Abdallah Schleifer, Distinguished Prof., Dept. of Journalism & Mass Com, American University Cairo
Ricka Shorish, M.S., R.N., volunteer/consultant, Avicenna Community Health Center
Jihad Shoshara, community organizer and activist, Chicago
Jafar Siddiqui, blogger - “Penjihad”
Prof. Laury Silvers, PhD
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, PhD, Sr. Lecturer, Islamic Studies & African American Religion, University of Florida
Aisha Sultan, syndicated columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Prof. Ibrahim B. Syed, PhD, President of Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.,  author
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Nat’l Director, Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of N America (ISNA)
Dr. Mahmoud Shawky Taman, Islamic Society of Northern Wisconsin
Haris Tarin, Director, Washington DC Office Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
J.Tayeb, MD, President, CAIR-MI, ISNA founders committee member, Vice chair, HUDA free Clinic, Detroit
Pamela Taylor, Co-founder Muslims for Progressive Values, Panelist for On Faith
Tayyibah Taylor, Editor, Azizah Magazine
Mahdi Toourage, PhD, Assistant Prof., U of Western Ontario
Dr. Yannis Toussulis, Writer, Family Psychotherapist
Tarik Trad, writer, humorist, photographer, artist and activist
Joya Uraizee, Associate Professor of English, Saint Louis University
Wahida Valiante, President, Canadian Islamic Congress and Chair of Islamic History Month Canada
Jason van Boom, Host of “Islam and Authors”, writer
Samia van Hattum, social worker
Amina Wadud, PhD, consultant on Islam and gender, visiting scholar Starr King School for the Ministry
Dawud Walid, Exec. Dir. CAIR-MI
Danya Wellmon, Co-Founder Women Transcending Boundaries interfaith group
Svend White, blogger - “Akram’s Razor”, activist, writer
G. Willow Wilson, author of “Butterfly Mosque” and “Air” graphic novel series
Sara M. Zaidi, Adjunct Professor of Education, CUNY Hunter College
Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, Director, American Muslim Association of North America, (AMANA)
Ani Zonneveld, President, Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV)

9/23/2010 NOTE:  If you are a Canadian or American Muslim and would like to add your signature, please send an email with your name, title, and organizational affiliation (if any) to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) — The list of signatories will be updated HERE.

NOTE:  All signatories are signing as individuals and not on behalf of the organizations with which they are affiliated.  Signatories last updated 5/5/2015 when it was also re-published.

UPDATE:  On 9/24/2010, MPAC issued a statement Upholding Free Speech as a Right and Duty in support of this Defense of Free Speech statement.