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CAIR Calls for Censure of Arkansas State Senator Who Questioned Political Participation of American Muslims

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/3/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, today called on the Arkansas legislature to censure a state senator who appeared to question the right of American Muslim to participate in the political process.

On November 30, Sen. Jason Rapert, who also founded the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, posted a story on Facebook from a right-wing conspiracy site about CAIR’s report on the high Muslim voter turnout in the midterm elections, and commented, “Do you want them ruling everything in America?” In a later post he wrote: “If you read this article and don’t see real political concerns then you have a problem perceiving news.” Rapert has since tried to walk back his bigoted comments.

SEE: Former Congressional candidate Chintan Desai calls Jason Rapert a “[bleeping] disgrace” after Rapert’s anti-Muslim comments

CAIR’s election night “American Muslim Voters and the 2018 Midterm Election” exit poll found that 95 percent of Muslim voters who responded to the survey turned out at the polls. Seventy-eight percent of Muslim voters cast ballots for Democratic Party candidates and 17 percent for Republican Party candidates.

CAIR Releases Results of Midterm Election Exit Poll of Muslim Voters Showing High Turnout

“It is unconscionable for an elected official to question the right of political participation by any American based solely on his or her religious beliefs,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “Senator Rapert’s bigoted comments reflect dangerous ideologies of the past that should be repudiated, not promoted.”

McCaw noted that CAIR recently joined a call for the censure of Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King after he was caught calling Mexican immigrants “dirt” in a taped conversation with supporters.

SEE: CAIR Joins Call for Censure of Rep. Steve King After He Calls Immigrants ”˜Dirt’

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period. Preliminary data for 2018 indicate that there have been 927 hate incidents targeting American Muslims.

New CAIR Report: Trump’s Muslim Bans Increased Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Violence

CAIR is America’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.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,; CAIR National Communications Manager Naaz Modan,



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