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March 6, 2019

[PRESS RELEASE] Emgage Action CEO sends letter to Speaker Pelosi to pass a resolution condemning all forms of hate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, in response to the House Democrats and House Speaker Pelosi’s proposed resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Emgage Action CEO, Wa’el Alzayat, sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to change the resolution to include condemnation of all forms of hate.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Emgage Action National and our chapters and affiliates in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, California, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are greatly concerned by proposed House Democratic leadership plans to introduce a resolution reprimanding Congresswoman Omar for critical comments she made about Israel and pro-Israel lobby groups. Members of Congress must be allowed to debate, whether in or out of the chamber, issues relevant to their committees and constituents. If you feel compelled we would support an effort to pass a more honest resolution that condemns anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as well as discrimination of all kinds, including verbal and physical threats that have been levied against members of Congress who are from religious or ethnic minorities.

On March 1,a poster hung in the halls of the West Virginia Capitol that linked Congresswoman Omar, one of the first Muslim American women elected to the House, tothe 9/11 terrorist attacks. The poster read: “Never forget – you said…I am proof you have forgotten.” A few days following this incident, the FBI responded to an incident involving graffiti that read “assassinate Ilhan Omar” in her home state of Minnesota.

The draft resolution focuses on anti-Semitism and combating bigotry against the Jewish community, which we support. We believe, as an organization thatfocuses on combatinghate crimes, that this resolution must go further by condemning all forms of bigotry at all levels. We also urge the leadership to condemn all acts of hate against Congresswoman Omar along with other incidents we have witnessed in the chambers of our very own government, such as the incident of Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) shouting “Go back to Puerto Rico” at Congressman Tony Cárdenas, (D-CA).

Criticizing Israeli policies should not automatically make one anti-Semitic just as criticizing Saudi or Egyptian policies should not make one automatically an Islamophobe. It is hypocritical to consider a resolution that singles out a new member of Congress, while actual racists have been allowed to make real anti-Semitic and other bigoted remarks for years.

In this current political climate, we must remain vigilant and steadfast against all forms of hate, racism and bigotry. Congress should commit itself to ensuring that any resolution voted on should not target Congresswoman Omar and instead address the larger issue of bigotry in all of its forms.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and if there is an opportunity to speak directly with you or your staff please let us know.

Sincerely,

Wa’el Alzayat

To send a letter to your Representative, please click here.

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Visit EmgageUSA.org and EmgageAction.org to learn more about how Muslim Americans are engaging politically to ensure that America continues to remain inclusive and tolerant for everyone.

For more information, please contact our Legislative Director, Iman Awad at [email protected].