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CAIR Condemns Rep. Perry’s Smear Targeting U.S. Muslim Peace Builder

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/18/2017) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-Penn.) smear targeting American Muslim peace builder Manal Omar.

Perry, who has praised white supremacist-linked, anti-Islam activist Brigitte Gabriel, used an early September budget hearing to attack Omar for saying she believed then-candidate Trump was “inciting violence” and that he “has blood on his hands.” Perry used Omar’s one-time remark from 2016 to call for an end to all funding to the government-backed U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP), which was then Omar’s employer. Omar exited USIP two days after Perry’s attack.

SEE: A Foreign Policy Expert Says Calling Out Trump’s “Hate Speech” Hurt Her Career In Washington

“Then-candidate Trump was inciting violence on the campaign trail. He was expressing anti-Islam animus. Omar’s one-time expression of concern about Trump’s hate rhetoric is exactly what any peace builder should say,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Perry’s ties to the U.S. Islamophobia network indicate that his attack may have had more to do with targeting a visible American Muslim than any concern about Omar’s valid statement.”

In December 2016, Rep. Perry posted a photograph of himself to his Facebook page with the head of the white supremacist-linked anti-Islam hate group ACT for America. In his Facebook post, Perry said that he had a “terrific” discussion with Gabriel and she “deserves” to be heard.

ACT for America leader Brigitte Gabriel says “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,” and that, “America is at stage two Islamic Cancer.” At a nationwide series of rallies in June, ACT hosted white supremacist groups like Vangaurd America and Identity Evropa.

SEE: Perry Facebook post of photo with Act for America’s Brigitte Gabriel

The Hate that ACT for America Wrought

In July, Perry was a featured guest on the radio program of Frank Gaffney, whose Center for Security Policy is an icon of anti-Islam hate.

SEE: Islamophobe Profile of Center for Security Policy

In its civil rights report documenting a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016 over 2015, CAIR documented then-candidate Trump’s anti-Islam animus.

CAIR also noted: “A publication produced by a United States Holocaust Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide Fellow notes that dangerous speech includes, ”˜both speech that qualifies as incitement and speech that makes incitement possible by conditioning its audience to accept, condone, and commit violence against people who belong to a targeted group.’”

SEE: CAIR 2014-2016 Civil Rights Report

Trump’s History of Encouraging Violence

When White House spokeswoman Sara Huckabee Sanders asserted that President Trump has never encouraged violence, Politifact rated the assertion as “false.”

SEE: Has Donald Trump Never ‘Promoted or Encouraged Violence,’ as Sarah Huckabee Sanders Said?

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.

Exclusive: New Report Offers Proof of US Hate Crime Rise in the Trump Era

CAIR asks 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: 

Because of the rise in hate incidents, CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here:

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor,, 202-384-8857; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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