(LOS ANGELES, CA, 11/1/2018) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today called on GOP leaders to repudiate Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) for featuring a constituent who espouses racist and Islamophobic views.
Knight posted an ad on his campaign website and his campaign Facebook page featuring David Brayton thanking the congressman for helping Brayton, 64, obtain a lung transplant. In the video, Brayton is wearing a red shirt with the word “infidel” imprinted as part of the American flag. [NOTE: The label “infidel” is commonly used by anti-Muslim bigots.]
The caption of the video from Knight on Facebook reads: “I’m proud to have earned David Brayton’s vote, but this is who we work for. Every. Single. Day.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brayton has a long history of posting inflammatory material on Facebook against Muslims, African Americans, Jews and the media.
Brayton has posted several rants against Islam on his Facebook pages, sharing a photo of a burning Koran. The profile picture for one of his Facebook profiles is a photo of a man pointing two machine guns in the air, captioned with “Hear me Islam. I will slaughter you with your own knife.”
In an interview with the Times, published Thursday morning, Brayton affirmed his views.
- “Islam has decided they’re going to kill everybody,” Brayton told the Times in a phone interview. “They’ve always done that.”
- “I think the KKK hates blacks cuz they’re jealous of them since blacks have killed more blacks than the KKK could in 100 years,” he wrote on Facebook.
- “That’s absolutely true,” Brayton confirmed to the Times.
In September 2017, Brayton wrote, “Perhaps all Jews on television should wear the ‘sign’ in this last photo . . . just to make sure the audience knows . . . wink wink.” The photo showed a yellow Star of David inscribed with the German word “Jude” — the badge that Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II.
According to the Times, Facebook has removed Brayton’s profiles, but a spokesman for Knight said the campaign would not remove the ads.
In a statement, CAIR-LA’s Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“Less than two weeks after the country was shaken by African-Americans being killed in Louisville and members of the Jewish community gunned down in Pittsburgh by bigots espousing the same hated as that Mr. Brayton espouses, it is unbelievable that a sitting congressman would choose to embrace the endorsement of an overt bigot. I question Rep. Knight’s intent when he writes that Mr. Brayton is who he works for. Is he working for avowed hate-mongering bigots or is he working for the rest of the 25th Congressional District, who are tolerant of our differences?”
Ayloush called for Knight to remove the ad and disavow Brayton’s hate-filled rhetoric.
“Facebook has seen fit to ban this man from using their platform to spew hatred,” Ayloush said. “We call on Rep. Knight to take a strong stand for American Muslims and other marginalized minorities in the 25th District and disassociate himself from Mr. Brayton and his hated.”
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-LA is Southern 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