United States Secretary of State John Kerry personally announced on May 20, 2013 the release of the U.S. State Department’s International Report on Religious Freedom. There was some disturbing news in this report which showed that anti-Semitism and Islam phobia are increasing. Jews and Muslims are asked to stand against any bigotry formed against them and their religious beliefs.

While in the Middle East and some parts of Europe, anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred seems to be rising and growing. The report has showed that it is indeed increasing. Some countries have even gone to the extreme to ban and restrict freedom of expression by Muslims. This means that they are banning Muslims from wearing any head scarfs which is an important part of their religious clothing.

On June 4th and 5th, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Islamic Society of North America sponsored a Mission to Washington, DC of Muslim and Jewish Leaders from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The meeting was aimed at opening communication between important Muslim and Jewish leaders in other countries. The meeting was held in hopes to bring added awareness and importance of both religions.

The time is now that leaders come together to bring awareness and priorities to the Muslim and Jewish faith and religion. There are many biased opinions, but with added information and awareness it is believed phobias will begin to diminish.

When major officials gather together to stop hatred, then it will show they are willing to go the extra step to end hatred and bigotry in their country.