In his remarks, Bishop McElroy exhorted Catholics “to recognize and confront the ugly tide of anti-Islamic bigotry” in the United States, to actively seek relationships with Muslims on a personal level, to accompany the Muslim community as it wrestles with religious liberty issues, and to join with them “to witness to and fight for” a Middle East where Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities can coexist peacefully.
Bishop McElroy said US Catholics should view with repugnance the “repeated falsehoods” that Islam is inherently violent, that Muslims seek to supplant the US Constitution with sharia law, and that Muslim immigration threatens “the cultural identity of the American people.” Such claims, he said, are strikingly reminiscent of the anti-Catholic bigotry that was once prevalent in the United States.
However, the bishop’s denunciation of prejudice does not signify a denial of the reality of terrorism.
“I want to underscore that it is not bigotry to fear or to combat the violence and terror which some Muslims in the world have unleashed in the name of faith,” he explained, while acknowledging that some Christians also have attempted to use their faith to justify acts of violence.
Catholic immigrants to the USA have been victims of bigotry and prejudice in the past, so it's great to hear a Catholic bishop challenging Islamophobia.