Source: Kennebec Journal
On July 23, 2006 the Kennebec Journal published the following letter by Sharon Nichols, Executive Director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, "Unlike much of the rest of the world, the United States has long been safe from major religious-based conflict. Sept. 11, 2001 has changed all that. Since then, and with the widening of the conflicts in the Middle East, ignorance, fear and hostility have become part of the American religious scene.
The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine asks the people of Maine to listen to our plea: The people who you may be tempted to strike out against because they are different, because they express religious piety by a piece of clothing or a belief in a different scripture -- don't let this blind you to the realization that they are human beings who as Americans have the right to pursue their beliefs in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
We ask Mainers to live peacefully and constructively with the profound differences that define the religious and ethnic pluralism of our state and our nation.
We ask the people of Maine not to commit the sin of silence. We must consider any form of violence against any one of our religious or minority communities as a form of violence against us all. We must speak up for the rights and freedoms that we celebrated on July 4 as Americans, just hours after the disgraceful act that was committed against the Muslim community of Lewiston."