(SANTA CLARA, CA, 2/5/2021) – The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) is calling on the Commonwealth Club to cancel the planned February 11 event featuring anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian speakers Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Bari Weiss.
Last night, CAIR-SFBA sent a letter to the President & CEO of the Club, Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, and the organization’s leadership staff, explaining both speakers’ track record of propagating Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian sentiment, urging them to cancel the event.
The letter, sent by CAIR-SFBA Advocacy Manager Aliza Kazmi and CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, states in part:
“These fringe speakers are contrary to your mission to seek truth and insight about the issues we face as a society. Both speakers have a shameful track record of propagating Islamophobia, which exacerbates ongoing intolerance and hate towards Muslims, immigrants, and others.
Hirsi Ali has called for the U.S. Constitution to be altered to allow for discrimination against Muslims. She also supports violence against Muslims, as indicated through statements including ‘we are at war with Islam,’ and urging that Islam be ‘defeated.’ She has also claimed ‘there is no moderate Islam,’ and has referenced the faith as ‘a nihilistic cult of death that ‘legitimizes murder.’
Weiss has a long history of brazenly attempting to silence the free speech of those who seek to build awareness around and support for Palestinian human rights. Her earliest work, campaigning to tarnish the careers of Arab professors at Columbia University, makes it no surprise that she has consistently smeared American Muslims on the forefront of civil rights today. We see her efforts to target Keith Ellison, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Linda Sarsour, and others who dare to speak up for Palestinian human rights, as flagrant and dangerous attacks on people’s fundamental rights, both here and abroad.”
Additionally, CAIR-SFBA is urging the Club to work with the region’s thriving American Muslim population and numerous organizations to promote community education around Islamophobia and xenophobia.
CAIR-SFBA is an office of CAIR, the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: Communications Coordinator Zoha Raza, 408.418.6902, firstname.lastname@example.org