(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/6/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and national Republican Party leaders to repudiate Islamophobic comments made by a GOP lawmaker in Delaware following a Muslim invocation Wednesday in that state’s legislature.
Video: CAIR Asks GOP to Repudiate Islamophobic Remarks of Delaware Lawmaker
After two representatives of the Delaware Muslim community offered the invocation that quoted the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, State Sen. Dave Lawson (R-Marydel) said: “We heard from the Quran that advocates for our very demise. . .I take great exception to that. I fought for this country, not to be damned by someone that comes in here and prays to their God for our demise. I think that’s despicable.”
The Muslim invocation stated in part: “Give this assembly the courage that is necessary to lead our state towards a more just and peaceful state. Allow the members of this assembly to stand firm for justice as witnesses to you, even if it is against themselves or of their kin or anyone else without any discrimination or prejudice.”
Both Lawson and Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover South) walked out of the chamber before the Muslim prayer. They re-entered when the Muslim speakers finished. Before the session adjourned, President Pro Tempore David McBride offered a public rebuke for the lawmakers’ actions: “I have never been of the mind to censure the words of other members, but I also believe deeply that words have consequences. To criticize the sacred prayer of another religion from the floor of the Senate strikes me as antithetical to everything we ought to stand for as lawmakers.”
“State and national Republican Party leaders must repudiate this Islamophobic episode and begin to address the growing anti-Muslim bigotry in party ranks nationwide,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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