Letter from Clergy to the University of New Haven
Dear President Kaplan, Dean Gaboury and members of the UNH Board of Governors:
As members of our respective faith communities, we call upon the University of New Haven to reconsider its
relationship with Saudi Arabia and to break its ties with the King Fahd Security College (KFSC), a police/military college.
As we have stood together in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors to mourn the terrible anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life
Synagogue, and as we have publicly expressed our outrage against the Islamophobic attacks on our Muslim neighbors, we believe that Martin
Luther King Jr. was exactly right when he said that “an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”
Therefore, we cannot remain silent in the face of Saudi Arabia’s well documented violation of human rights.
Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, has a long record
in the use of torture, exacting horrific punishments against women, gays and
dissidents. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi underscores this, but the sorry record of the Saudi government goes back many decades.
As people of faith, we note that there is no freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia,
no right for public worship by Christians, Jews or even Shiite Muslims. Neither is
there freedom to question religion and religious teachings. Grotesquely, people are severely punished for supposedly being “witches.”
The photo circulating worldwide of the 7-year old girl who starved to death in Yemen
this week is a terrible reminder of the tens of thousands killed as a result of the unjustified
interference of the Saudi government in Yemen. In Yemen, as a result of the bombing perpetrated
by the Saudis and the United Arab Emerates, and disgracefully assisted by our own government, millions
are starving and multitudes have suffered from cholera and other diseases.
We believe it is morally wrong for the University of New Haven to be associated in any
way with the Saudi Arabian monarchy and the atrocities for which it is responsible. You owe it to your own integrity
to see this an opportunity to take a stand for human rights and use this as an opportunity to bring enlightenment to your
academic community. As such we call upon the University of New Haven to hold public forums on campus about this issue, and
if we can assist with speakers, please let us know.
The Rev. David W. Good,
The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Ct
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ
Reverend Bruce M. Shipman
Vicar Emeritus, Church of the Holy Advent,
The Rev.Dr. Dean Ahlberg
First Church of Christ, Congregational
The Rev. Dr. Paul C. Hayes, pastor
Noank Baptist Church, Noank CT 06340
Quaker Chaplain at Harvard
Shalom United Church of Christ
The Rev'd Charlotte K. White
Retired Chaplain, State of CT
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