FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maury Litwack
December 12, 2011
Orthodox Union Spearheads Bipartisan Letter to Dutch Legislature Asserting Importance of Religious Liberties
This week, the Orthodox Union, through its Institute for Public Affairs spearheaded a bipartisan letter to the Dutch Legislature expressing concern over pending legislation in the Netherlands to ban Shechita [ritual slaughter], citing international legal precedents to safeguard religious liberties.
In June, the lower house of the Dutch legislature voted to outlaw Shechita, and the Dutch Senate will begin its discussion on Tuesday, December 13.
This bipartisan letter is led by the chairs of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, Congressmen Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Heath Shuler (D-NC). Demonstrating that this is not solely a Jewish or Muslim issue, the members represent a diverse group who value the freedom to practice one’s religion. Other signatories include: House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (CA), Keith Ellison (MN), Allyson Schwartz (PA), Ted Deutch (FL), Steve Rothman (NJ), Shelley Berkley (NV), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Henry Waxman (CA), and Jan Schakowsky (IL).
Maury Litwack, OU IPA Director of Political Affairs, stated:
“We are thrilled to see broad and diverse support in the US House of Representatives on this issue concerning religious liberties. Freedom of religious practice is a historic value in the American – and Dutch – tradition, and we are proud to see it safeguarded by our elected officials.”
The ADL and AJC assisted in gaining support from Members of Congress.