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CAIR-NY Calls on St. Lawrence Lawmaker to Resign Following Hate-Filled Islamophobic Post Endangering Lives of New Yorkers

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 4/29/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for the resignation of Rita E. Curran (R-Massena), St. Lawrence County Legislator District 15, for posting an Islamophobic post on Facebook that may incite violence against New Yorkers and all Americans who are Muslim or perceived as Muslim.

Curran’s post features a 9/11 image of the North Tower burning at the World Trade Center as a second plane is about to hit the South Tower.  Above the image, Curran wrote “Every time a Muslim stand up (sic) in Congress and tells us they are going to change the Constitution, impeach the president, or vote for socialism, remember you swore you would never forget. They swore they would destroy us from within.”  The county’s Democratic Committee has called for her resignation. 


“Over and over again we have seen hate speech lead to hate violence taking lives across our nation,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “Legislator Rita Curran’s vicious post falsely and dangerously invokes false anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and endangers the lives of millions of New Yorkers and all Americans that are Muslim or perceived as Muslim.”

She added, “Ms. Curran’s poisonous, bigoted remarks manifest hatred towards a pluralistic society, and it is her blatant discrimination that threatens the Constitution she swore to uphold.” 

“Hate speech leads to hate violence against all Americans, especially religious minorities as evidenced by recent spikes in attacks against Muslims and Jews,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. “Ms. Curran should be ashamed for trying to exploit a national tragedy to incite anti-Muslim hysteria and questioning the ability of Muslims to serve their country.  Her rhetoric is dangerous and unacceptable. She has demonstrated that she is not fit to hold political office and must resign her post immediately.”

He continued, “If Ms. Curran does not resign, the County Legislature must remove her immediately. Failing to do so would be an endorsement of her hate speech against American Muslims.”

CAIR-NY cited recent hate violence targeting American Jews, Muslims and other Americans perceived as Muslim.


Last month, the Connecticut chapter of CAIR called for the resignation of member of the Stamford Board of Representatives, for sharing anti-Muslim and xenophobic posts on Facebook.

SEE: CAIR-CT Calls for Resignation of Conn. Official Over Xenophobic, Islamophobic Posts

Also, last month, the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of CAIR called for the resignation of a local school board member who shared anti-Muslim posts on Facebook and Twitter.

SEE: CAIR-Pennsylvania Calls for Resignation of Local School Board Official Over Anti-Muslim Posts

In February, CAIR-Pittsburgh joined the NAACP Allegheny East Branch in calling for the resignation of Plum Borough School District Member Brian Wisniewski who shared an anti-Muslim Facebook. Wisniewski resigned from his post under pressure.

SEE: School Board Member Resigns Over Anti-Muslim Facebook Post

In January, CAIR-Florida called for the resignation of a local commissioner who claimed online that newly-elected Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib might ”˜blow up’ Capitol Hill.

SEE: CAIR-Florida Calls for Resignation of Hallandale Beach Commissioner Who Claimed Muslim Congresswoman Might ”˜Blow Up’ Capitol Hill

The New York-based civil rights organization has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR-New York has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies.

 In a published report, CAIR noted a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents and a 15 percent increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since Trump took office.

SEE: 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted

 Muslim community members are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: 

CAIR-NY is New York’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-NY es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006,; CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, 646-481-2103,

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