(BOSTON, MA, 10/2/19) — Jetpac and the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) today jointly called for a full investigation by the City of Revere, Mass., into whether City Councilor George Rotondo, Jr. has been using municipal resources to promote Islamophobic and anti-immigrant propaganda on social media.
Jetpac and CAIR-MA recently learned that Councilor Rotondo has promoted Islamophobic propaganda from anti-Muslim hate groups such as Jihad Watch and the Gatestone Institute, as well as sharing YouTube videos describing nearby Portland, Maine as being “overrun” with African migrants seeking asylum, an image of a Muslim man pulling the puppet strings of local Revere politicians, and several other accusations of Muslims secretly attempting to infiltrate or control American politics (see samples below).
“We’ve seen throughout history that hateful rhetoric inspires violence, and it’s very concerning to see an increasing number of Massachusetts public officials spreading hate propaganda that exclusively exists to incite fear and hatred against Muslims,” said Mohammed Missouri, executive director of Jetpac. “Councilor Rotondo has the right to say what he wants on his own time, but Revere residents also have a right to know if he’s using any public resources as a city councilor to promote hatred of Muslims.”
“These posts demonstrate a disturbing pattern of animosity against Muslims, and Muslim residents of Revere should rightly be concerned whether Councilor Rotondo would fairly represent them,” said John Robbins, executive director of CAIR-MA. “Muslims of Revere, which include children, police officers, teachers, doctors, and their families, deserve more from their elected officials.”
FBI statistics show that nationally, hate crimes are up for the third straight year, based on 2017 data (2018 data is not yet available).
In 2016, Massachusetts had the highest rate of reported hate crimes in the country, and 427 incidents were reported in 2017, the most since 2003 and a ten-percent increase from 2016.These statistics are consistent with a 2019 CAIR-MA report that found the organization received 232 requests in 2018 for legal assistance for civil rights cases related to harassment, hate crimes, travel abuses, and discrimination in employment, housing, and education, an increase from the account of similar cases in 2017.
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.
Jetpac (Justice Education Technology Political Advocacy Center) seeks to build a strong American Muslim political infrastructure and increase our community’s influence and engagement.