News & Media

June 16, 2018
Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer,

– This Statement Can be Attributed to Alvin Herring –

WASHINGTON – Executives with Faith in Action, formerly PICO National Network, today expressed support for Muslim activist Zahra Billoo. Ms. Billoo heads the San Francisco branch of the Council for American Islamic Relations and was set to be honored by People Acting in Community Together, a Faith in Action local group, later this year. The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of the international network, today issued the following statement:

“Faith in Action is an international network of more than 39 federations and local groups who represent different faiths traditions. Each federation is an autonomous entity, but as the leader of this organization, I am compelled to speak up when the organization has not lived up to our stated values.

“Zahra Billoo is a dear sister who has given extraordinary leadership and we appreciate her work. The decision to issue and then rescind an award for someone so deserving is not one that I would have made, and I have shared my thoughts on the matter with PACT’s leadership team.

“While PACT was likely responding to concerns about some of Ms. Billoo’s online comments, Faith in Action does not have a practice of dictating how faith leaders raise moral critiques. We want faith leaders to continually challenge what they see as unjust policies and practices. The power of our organization comes from bringing people together across faiths to address issues impacting various communities, and we will not establish a practice of censoring what leaders say or running away from them when there is discomfort or disagreement. I am encouraging PACT to continue deep listening and dialogue, and to pursue reconciliation.

“While Faith in Action does not control the day-to-day operations of local groups or federations, we intend to support PACT as they attempt to rebuild bridges and learn from this experience.”