CC ISSUE: APR2012 Last updated: 2012-11-19 13:58:30
CIOGC is appalled at Rep. Joe Walsh's bigoted comments on Muslim Americans
The Council of Islamic Organizations of greater Chicago is appalled at Rep. Joe Walsh's bigoted comments on Muslim Americans
(Chicago, IL 8/ 9/12) - The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) is appalled at the irresponsible and bigoted comments made by U.S. Representative Joe Walsh at on Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Rep. Walsh represents Illinois' 8th congressional district, where he is running against Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat. His district--which includes Villa Park, Schaumburg and Elgin--is more than 12% Asian-American, including a significant Muslim population.
According to reports, in response to a question from the audience, Rep. Walsh asserted that Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week.” The question asked to Rep. Walsh itself was bigoted and prejudicial, with an audience member stating, “Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.” Walsh also said Islam is a threat in America: “It’s a real threat...and it’s a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11.” Walsh continued his tirade by letting the audience knows, “It’s here,” referring to “radical Islam” in the suburbs of Chicago. “It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, and it’s in Elgin. It’s here.”
Rep. Walsh's website similarly reflects his bigoted views: “The threat that radical Islam poses to American families and our way of life is not anything new. It is a real threat. The Committee on Homeland Security, of which I am a member, has held five hearings that examined the threat of Muslim radicalization, especially radicalization within the Muslim-American community". Time has shown that this type of political rhetoric leads directly to violent crimes against the Arab, Muslim, South Asian and immigrant communities.
"Rep. Walsh, Rep Bachmann and other irresponsible politicians are endangering the lives of many Americans by spreading such hateful and bigoted comments," stated Dr. Zaher Sahloul, CIOGC Chairman. "These comments come a few days after the Joplin Mosque (Missouri) Arson and a white supremacist murderer killed six Sikhs at a temple in the suburbs of Milwaukee. We demand that Rep. Walsh retract his comments and apologize to his Muslim constituency and we ask all responsible politicians and faith leaders--from all parties--demand that hate mongering and demonizing of minorities be no longer tolerated in our political discourse."
CIOGC reiterates that there is no room for Islamophobia, xenophobia or anti-Semitism in our society, much less in politics, and calls on politicians not to use Islam as a wedge issue in the coming election and to distance themselves from such dangerous tactics.
CIOGC, CAIR-Chicago and interfaith partners will be holding a press conference on Friday, August 10, to address this dangerous rhetoric. It will be held at 28 E. Jackson Blvd. Chicago IL.
For more information contact:
Dr. Zaher Sahloul, firstname.lastname@example.org (708) 935-6723, Ahlam Jbara, email@example.com (312) 399-3796