The American Islamic Association of Frankfort is holding an interfaith meeting and press conference at 6 p.m. Tuesday to respond to a SouthtownStar article about a personal e-mail sent by Frankfort Township Assessor Paul Ruff containing anti-Muslim comments. Members of churches and synagogues as well as Ruff have been invited to attend and express their views.
Organizers at the Frankfort mosque said the meeting is intended to be a non-confrontational opportunity to express religious tolerance, interfaith cooperation, religious freedom and good citizenship. It will draw attention to the use of anti-Islamic rhetoric by an official who assesses property of all Frankfort Township property owners, some of whom are Muslim.
The e-mail, forwarded by Ruff to several in the Mokena/Frankfort area in June, suggested that America follow the sentiments of former Australian prime minister John Howard, who said Muslims who want to live under Shiria law should get out of the country.
“Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the back bone to start speaking and voicing the same truths,” the e-mail continued. “If you agree, please send this on.”
Numerous calls to Ruff to discuss the e-mail were not returned.
“Unfortunately, the politics of fear-mongering continue to be a reality in the (United States), and the Muslims are at the losing end of this really hateful attitude,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Chicago.
The press conference will be at the American Islamic Center, 8860 W. St. Francis Road, Frankfort.