(LOS ANGELES, CA, 9/12/2018) - The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today condemned Islamophobic comments by a California Republican congressional candidate directed at former President Barack Obama.
Tim Donnelly, who is running for California's 8th District Assembly seat, repeatedly lashed out at Obama, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Islamic faith on his former radio program, “The Tim Donnelly Show," in the aftermath of the San Bernardino attack:
"Barack Obama is the president of the United States and he couldn't say, 'Hey, these are Islamic jihadists. I just got informed of this by the FBI.' Instead he lies. He comes out and lies because we all know this information was out there, but he didn't want to insult the faith that I believe he is secretly following, a follower, or he is simply sympathetic because they're doing the dirty work. Because he ultimately wants to see this country punished and taken down for what he considers to be crimes against the rest of the world.
"I want to play you a little clip of the dictator-in-chief, the gun-controller-in-chief, I don't know what to call him today … this is his reaction and it's completely devoid of the same passion that he would have had if this individual had been Dylann Roof who killed nine black people in a church and could easily be demonized as a white supremacist, whereas these are Obama's people, the Islamic people.”
In his commentary about Lynch, Donnelly said:
"If you were an American who loved this country, you'd put the mosques on notice. You'd tell them, 'If you don't turn over the extremists and the jihadists within your midst then we'll set the FBI on you. We'll turn your mosques upside down. We'll make your lives a living hell until you rat out those who have declared war on America.'. . .
"Well, I'm putting you on notice. If you don't go after the Islamic jihadis next door, we will. The only good jihadi is a dead jihadi. . .”
Donnelly, who helped found the California chapter of the Minutemen Party, has several well-known supporters. He is backed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative activist Charlie Kirk.
In a statement, CAIR-LA's Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
"Mr. Donnelly's past hate-filled statements about then-President Obama and the millions of peaceful American Muslims would be appalling even if he were not running for public office,” Ayloush said. “Mr. Donnelly’s conspiracy theories and malevolent rhetoric have no place in our nation, let alone in the halls of Congress.”
Ayloush called for the California Republican Party to condemn Donnelly’s rhetoric.
“The Party of Lincoln should not stand for such divisive and bigoted language from one of its candidates,” Ayloush said. “We call for the California GOP leadership to take a strong stand for American Muslims in California and in the 8th Congressional District.”
CAIR California (CAIR-CA) found that there was a marked rise in anti-Muslim bias incidents in California in 2017, as detailed in the new CAIR-CA Civil Rights Report. CAIR-CA recorded an 8 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017 compared to 2016.
Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at” http://bit.ly/2Am5yjG
CAIR-CA is California's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or firstname.lastname@example.org