ADL Commends Air Force for Guidelines to Protect Against Religious Intolerance
New York, NY, August 30, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Air Force for issuing guidelines for all its personnel to protect against religious intolerance, calling it "a significant step forward," and said that implementation is the key to success. In a series of meetings with Air Force officials at the Academy in Colorado Springs and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, over the last three months, ADL had urged that steps be taken to remedy the problem of religious bias.
In a letter to Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Pete Geren, commending the Air Force on the issuance of the Interim Guidelines Concerning Free Exercise of Religion in the Air Force, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director said, "The Guidelines are a significant step forward in safeguarding religious freedom and respecting the diversity of faiths represented at the Air Force Academy and the Air Force as a whole."
Mr. Foxman noted that "the Guidelines strike the appropriate balance between the constitutional guarantee of religious free exercise rights and the prohibition against governmental endorsement of religion. They are a critical step forward in guaranteeing religious freedom for all cadets and creating a learning environment at the Academy that is free from religious coercion and harassment."
The League leader added that, "To ensure success, the implementation of the guidelines, including the necessary follow-up training and educational programs, must clearly define the rights, responsibilities and procedural remedies for both cadets and Academy staff."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.