AN OPEN LETTER TO FELLOW HOOSIERS AND GOVERNOR PENCE
Board members of Earth Charter Indiana join with all Hoosiers in mourning the recent murders in Beirut, Baghdad, Sinai, Jeruslem, Paris and Mali. Killing innocents in the name of God is a perversion of all we hold sacred. It also violates the heart and soul of the Earth Charter as expressed in Principle 1(b) which reads “Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.”
One purpose of terrorism is to provoke governments to over-react with poorly-considered policies. Terrorists hope that the fear they evoke will cause people to abandon their moral values and ethical convictions. If we aren’t careful, terrorism can prevent us from acting with compassion and get in the way of affirming our common humanity.
We are appalled by recent statements of certain presidential candidates who would make us afraid of all Muslims even to the extent of closing Mosques and forcing all Muslims to register. The truth is that most Muslims condemn the violence of ISIS as much as all other people of goodwill. It is a tragic mistake to profile all Muslims as potential terrorists.
Related to this irrational profiling is the declaration of several governors including Governor Pence to refuse Syrians a place of refuge in their states without extraordinary screening not expected of those fleeing violence from other countries. This is a nuanced expression of Islamaphobia and should have no place in America or Indiana. America already has stringent protective screening procedures for all asylum seekers. To pretend otherwise, in the name of Homeland Security, is a denial of bedrock American values and the compassionate teachings of all major religions.
We demand that Governor Pence reconsider his position immediately and proclaim that Indiana is open and welcoming to those of all faiths fleeing for their lives.
Earth Charter Indiana, Inc.
Board and Staff Members
(Earth Charter Indiana is a "grassroots organization bringing the Earth Charter principles of peace, sustainability and justice to our beloved Hoosier State. Our fun and practical programs aim to inspire everyone to roll up their sleeves and join us as we tackle climate change and social inequality.")