(BALTIMORE, MD, 7/11/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Bob Bruchey, the mayor of Hagerstown, Md., to publicly apologize for his social media comment calling the Muslim Mayor of London Sadiq Khan a ”˜terrorist.’
SEE: Hagerstown Mayor Bruchey criticized for social-media comment calling London’s Muslim mayor a terrorist
CAIR is also urging the mayor to schedule a meeting with local Islamic and interfaith leaders to discuss the broader implications of his slur and why it is especially egregious in the context of an unprecedented number of anti-Muslim hate crimes and bias incidents in the United States.
“Elected officials have an obligation to their constituents to behave responsibly and to avoid language or behavior that profiles or potentially incites hostility toward any individuals based on race, religion or ethnicity,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “This slur is especially offensive to Hagerstown Muslims, who are a vibrant part of the local community and contribute to improving society in many different ways.”
By seeking an apology and a meeting, the civil rights and advocacy organization aims to mitigate harm done by the post and help improve interfaith understanding and promote tolerance.
In CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report, ”˜Targeted’, the organization recorded a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against Muslim Americans from 2016-17, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same time period.
Chaudry noted that this incident is a recent example of intolerant attitudes observed from public officials and individuals in positions of authority in Maryland and across the country.
The organization cited its condemnation last week of anti-Semitic pamphlets in Laurel, Maryland as yet another sign of a climate of intolerance spreading across the state.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Distribution of Anti-Semitic Pamphlets in Maryland as Symptom of ”˜Empowered’ Bigotry
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.
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