Ellison urges Obama to convene 'Religious Diversity Summit'
July 18, 2013 — 2:52pm
Dozens of Democrats in the U.S. House, including Rep. Keith Ellison, sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday urging him to host a "Religious Diversity Summit" to stem what they say is a rising tide of discrimination against religious minorities.
"The targeting of religious minorities in America is reaching a crisis point and we believe your leadership is crucial to stemming this rising tide of violence," the letter reads.
"We ask that you host a Religious Diversity Summit' in Washington to build and focus a national dialogue that will develop and commit us to common strategies to combat bigotry against all religious communities."
The letter writers hope a summit would help religious leaders, politicians, academics and federal government leaders to develop guidelines that communities could use when dealing with religious divisions.
The plea comes weeks before the anniversary of an Aug. 5, 2012, attack on a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee that left six worshipers dead and three others critically injured.
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and his colleagues wrote that the incident is part of a "growing trend of anti-minority religious sentiment in our country" that has emerged in recent years.
Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist members of Congress were among the signatories.
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