(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/12/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, tonight welcomed President Obamaâ€™s remarks in his State of the Union address rejecting Islamophobia, particularly in the political process.
In his remarks, the President said:
â€œ[W]e need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This is not a matter of political correctness. This is a matter of understanding just what it is that makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot that I am standing on tonight that â€œto imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.â€ When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesnâ€™t make us safer. Thatâ€™s not telling it like it is. Itâ€™s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country.â€
Video: President Obama Rejects Islamophobia in Politics During State of the Union Address
â€œWe welcome President Obamaâ€™s strong rejection of Islamophobic rhetoric in politics, which sent a clear message to candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson who promote and exploit anti-Muslim bigotry for their own political gain,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. â€œWe must leverage the strength of our diversity in this nation and worldwide. America is made stronger because of its religious and ethnic diversity.â€
Video: CAIR Seeks Apology for Treatment of Muslim Woman at Donald Trump Rally (Al Jazeera)
Yesterday, CAIR sent a letter to President Obama urging him to offer support for the American Muslim community during tonightâ€™s address.
Three CAIR representatives, and a number of other American Muslims, attended the State of the Union address as invitees of elected officials.
Video: CAIR State of the Union Address Attendee Sameena Usman Interviewed on MSNBC
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.
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CONTACT: National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org