By George Zornick on Jan 25th, 2011 at 6:53 pm
Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention
Last year, the Anti-Defamation League began an interfaith initiative that supports the rights of Muslims to build mosques, and enlisted leaders of several major religious groups to help in the effort. Today, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land announced he is leaving the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques because he has received too many complaints from his constituents. Land told the Associated Press that many Southern Baptists felt he was promoting Islam, and not just protecting religious freedom. “I don’t agree with that perception but it’s widespread and I have to respect it,” Land said.
Land frequently inserted his voice into national stories about Islamophobia over the past year, sometimes calling for greater respect of Islam. When arsonists targeted a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN in August, Land spoke out strongly, saying he was “sickened” and “revolted” by the “un-American” acts, and the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques also filed a friend-of-court brief opposing a lawsuit aimed at stopping that mosque.