The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) was sickened to learn about the anonymously posted billboard along I-465 targeting the Muslim community and its faith. This hateful demonstration during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan only serves to increase hate, fear and intolerance in our community. Displays such as these do more than just offend; they make Muslims feel unwelcome and unsafe in our country.

Jewish tradition recognizes the power of words to either create or destroy. Free speech is a fundamental right upon which our nation was founded, but fear-mongering and hate speech that intimidate and threaten members of diverse communities should not be tolerated.

The Jewish community reaffirms our commitment to working with the Muslim community to combat Islamophobia and bigotry in all its forms. We pledge to continue our pursuit of peace and justice by building relationships with members of all faith communities in order to promote the understanding of – and respect for – all people throughout our state.