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Key West Interfaith Alliance Condemns Trump Proposal To Bar Muslims

Nancy Klingener
The Rev. Randy Becker is minister at One Island Family, Key West's Unitarian Universalist congregation. He's also president of the Interfaith Alliance of Key West and the Lower Keys.

  When the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance of the Key West and Lower Keys met Tuesday, the group's agenda included a resolution renouncing discrimination based on religious faith. The resolution was a response to presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country.

But even before the members looked at the agenda, they were already talking about the Trump proposal, said the Rev. Randy Becker, president of the alliance.

"This was the topic that was on people's minds," Becker said. "How do we respond to religious bigotry and religious exclusion?"

The alliance responded with a resolution renouncing rhetoric of religious exclusion — and specifically denouncing any proposal to exclude Muslims. Becker said it's important for even a small community like Key West, with a population of about 25,000, to speak out on issues like this.

"It's important that every community, no matter where, no matter how large, needs to respond. What happens in Key West does flow out to the rest of the world, in a way," he said.

Becker said the resolution is in keeping with Key West's official motto of One Human Family.

"It isn't One Human Family with an asterisk, 'except for those people,' " Becker said. "If that's our city philosophy, then we really need to be able to emphasize that in all dimensions."

The interfaith alliance includes representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Buddhist congregations, Becker said.