Our Call to Action
The United States MCC is committed to protecting the Arab presence, both Christian and Muslim, in Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land. We view this responsibility as a sacred trust and extend an open invitation to all people of goodwill to join us in this critical call to action.
Brief History of the MCC
Established in 2017, the U.S. Muslim & Christian Coalition (MCC) was born out of profound reverence for the noble values and ethical principles shared by Muslims and Christians alike, and in the awareness that religious extremism on the fringe of either group can lead to destructive violence. HCEF created this initiative for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities in the Arab World. Collectively, we recognize that the persecution of Christian citizens, often involving unimaginable atrocities, violates our faith traditions and insults our Creator. This coalition is our expression of solidarity and commitment to the Common Good. In alarm and deep concern for Arab Christians and other religious minorities under attack, and with a clear understanding that peace, justice, and freedom are possible only in a culture of coexistence, we pledge to remain united in addressing the challenge of this new extremism and to restore the communal relationship of co-existence among neighbors.
Arab Christians have been active for years, working hard to build interfaith tolerance by challenging Western stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims and by educating Western Christians about the real Islam, distinguishing faithful people of good will from extremists. In 2021, since the current situation has become less violent and dangerous for Christians in the Middle East, several Muslim and Christian organizations and individuals have decided to focus on Jerusalem and the moral imperative to ensure that it is shared equitably among its diverse ethnic and religious communities. It is time that we – Christians and Muslims together – combine our collective efforts to advocate vigorously for an inclusive Jerusalem, for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, and for the establishment of a contiguous, independent, and fully sovereign state, and to continue challenging Islamophobia.
Muslims and Christians today share a common threat due to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, specifically its policies and practices of changing the demographics and status quo of the Holy Land, most particularly in Jerusalem. This involves displacement of the non-Jewish Arab inhabitants and implementing laws to deny them equal and basic human rights. Effective and sustained teamwork is needed to combat this shared threat.
As American Christians and Muslims, we recognize that our faith traditions would not exist without the Arab community that serves as the foundational and historical cornerstone for both faiths. We value that our common culture and relationships today serve as a model of coexistence in solidarity, aiding and protecting one another despite differences in creed.
We – MCC members – agree on the centrality of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic faiths of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. To fulfill its potential, Jerusalem must become a shining beacon of peaceful coexistence among different religious and ethnic groups, all of whom must have free access to Jerusalem as an inclusive center of faith. It is our duty to make this happen and to refute any claims that undermine the universal character of our Holy City.
Palestinian Muslims and Christians are a source of shining examples of nonviolent efforts to actualize their dream of freedom and self-determination. We are committed to highlighting these efforts to embolden and encourage others to replicate these good works, build hope, and promote resiliency with the Palestinian society.
As Muslims and Christians, we commit ourselves to putting our faith into action by continuing to promote peaceful coexistence and to support our shared priority to advocate for peace and justice for the Palestinian people and to promote sharing Jerusalem as an inclusive center of faith.
MCC members recognize that both the current conflict and the potential for future suffering can only be addressed through tangible, systematic efforts. To achieve our mission, we set forth these goals:
” Put your Faith into Action”
Uphold Human Rights – MCC actively supports efforts to ensure the dignity, equality, and justice for all inhabitants of the Holy Land.
Correct Negative Perceptions of Islam – MCC members, both Christians and Muslims, dedicate themselves to combating anti-Muslimism and Islamophobic biases in a variety of venues, including the media, the entertainment industry, and public discourse.
Amplify the Voice of Arab Christians and Muslims – Palestinian Christians and Muslims have been suffering for too long under the harsh conditions of the Israeli occupation. They must be empowered to share their stories. Conversely, Westerners need to hear these stories, which are often suppressed in the media.
Offer Financial/Material Relief – MCC is committed to providing support (both financial and material) to Palestinians and their communities in an effort to mitigate their hardships caused by displacement and oppressive policies.
Serve as a Coordinating Entity – There is an urgent need to improve the lives of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. The MCC offers individuals and organizations a coordinated strategy to maximize their collective support for the Arab Palestinian residents.
Preserve Jerusalem’s inclusivity – MCC strives to preserve the diverse heritage of Jerusalem for all faiths. We appeal to Muslims and Christians in the United States and worldwide to support this work on behalf of the Holy City.
Facilitate Interfaith Coordination and Communication – The MCC aspires to serve as a liaison among mosques, Islamic centers, and churches in advocating on behalf of Palestinian dignity and self-determination. It also seeks opportunities to work together with Jewish and other faith-based organizations that support Palestinian rights.
Develop Grassroots (People-to-People) Relationships – Interfaith organizations consist of human beings joined together in fellowship. To develop relationships between believers of different faiths is to cultivate meaningful friendships between individuals. This objective will have a particular focus on youth and will leverage partnerships from the local to the global level.
In support of our goals, MCC operates the following programs:
- The “Ambassador of Peace” Program (APP): An Interfaith Youth Leadership opportunity for American Muslim and Christian youth to travel together to the Holy Land. During their shared journey, they engage in interfaith dialogue and participate in workshops and events that build coexistence and friendship. They are encouraged to become Ambassadors of Peace in their communities upon their return home.
- Familiarization Trips to the Holy Land: Many Muslims feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in Israel; however, Christians who regularly undertake pilgrimages to the Holy Land can enjoy the enrichment of religious conviction that comes from walking the hallowed ground of their faith. To correct this inequity, the MCC has sought to offer Muslims the same opportunity. Through its relations with Christian partners in the Holy Land, the MCC can assist in organizing religious journeys for Muslims in coordination with the local Christian and Muslim communities, allowing Muslims to visit such holy sites as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, and the tombs of important prophets and martyrs, among others. Since its inception, thousands of American Christians and Muslims have participated in these familiarization trips.
- Interfaith Conferences, Symposia, and Events: To allow MCC members, as well as religious and community leaders, to participate in face-to-face dialogue and fellowship. They involve expert speakers and specialists who explain the challenges facing Palestinian Christians and Muslims and the ways they work together in solidarity. The dialogue is outcome-focused to inspire members to renew their commitment, while providing practical ways to support the Palestinian people.
We must always remember that our faiths are centered on our Creator. We commit to fulfilling His will in all our actions, knowing that doing so is the best witness to His mercy and grace, and will serve as our guide to actualizing the Common Good and a better future for all.