On Monday, the Columbus City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning Islamophobia. Passage followed a roundtable discussion at Columbus City Hall conducted by various faith leaders in Central Ohio.
Council member Michael Stinziano, who sponsored the resolution, says Muslims “should be treated with dignity, care and compassion, which every human being deserves.”
Stinziano talked with WOSU’s Sam Hendren about the resolution.
The below is an automated transcript. Please excuse minor typos and errors.
Michael Stinziano: I think that it's important, knowing our growing community, that the council and the city is on record against Islamophobia, recognizing that diversity, inclusion in the city of Columbus makes us a stronger, more vibrant city. And really there's just been an ongoing dialogue and concern about some of the rhetoric about not only Columbus's values but across the state of Ohio and the country.
And so this resolution will highlight that and really we've been encouraged by the outpouring of support, religious leaders of all faiths in support of this resolution.
Sam Hendren: Are there any particular instances or circumstances that you're aware of where Islamophobia has come to the fore - hate speech against Muslims or...
Michael Stinziano: So it's somewhat ebbed and flowed this year, but, and you know, just in our conversations or community meetings with either friends that are Muslim or Muslim leaders, there's definitely been a concern, just a general recognition that maybe they don't feel safe or they feel like there's some confusion about what the Muslim faith entails. And I know some mosques have done some outreach to try and dispel the misinformation.
But if you ask anyone of the Muslim faith, that they do feel there's been negative attention and that it's been concerning, that helps, and part of why we felt the need to bring forward a resolution to support and again recognize how important the diversity of our city.
Sam Hendren: You think this further solidifies the city of Columbus as open and inclusive?
Michael Stinziano: I think it helps. I think the city of Columbus always will condemn bigotry and anti-Muslim hate. This resolution is in support and aligned with those stances.