Press Release by NIAC Action
Washington, DC - NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after inflammatory remarks from Rep. Steve King:
“NIAC Action condemns remarks by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in which he suggested that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson’s (D-IN) commitment to upholding the Constitution should be in question because they are Muslim. The real question is how anyone who openly calls for religious discrimination against fellow Americans can be trusted to uphold the Constitution, which fundamentally protects religious freedom.
“Reps. Ellison and Carson, like other Muslim Americans, have made extraordinary contributions to this country, including through their service in Congress. Attacks on their faith are an insult to the core, founding principles of America that make our country great.
— Sharon Chabot (@nhdogmom) December 10, 2015
“Rep. King should immediately apologize for his insulting and inflammatory remarks and Republican leaders should make clear there is no place for this sort of rhetoric. King’s comments, like the outrageous calls from GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, only fan the flames of hatred and fear. Their rhetoric is an attack on America and the core values of freedom and democracy that make this country great.
"Sharia law is incompatible with the United States Constitution and so if they want to demonstrate that they are open to being Americanized, the first thing they should do is renounce Sharia law," King told TPM. "You won't get Keith Ellison or Andre Carson in this Congress to renounce Sharia law, let alone somebody that's just come out of the Middle East that is someone who has been steeped in Islam for a lifetime." As that interview ended, TPM also had a chance to talk with Ellison, who was walking by and shook hands with King. When asked to respond to King's comment, Ellison said it was "an incredibly ignorant statement...And when I say ignorant I don't mean it as an insult, I mean it as it is incredibly uninformed," Ellison said. "That is all I can really say."
“The Iranian-American community - which includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahais, and atheists - is very religiously diverse. However, an attack on religious freedom is an attack on all of us because it’s an attack on a key principle America was founded on. NIAC Action and NIAC are among the dozens of organizations to sign onto the “We are Better Than This” campaign that urges lawmakers to denounce hateful rhetoric. Moving forward, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the rights of Americans are not conditional based on religion or national origin, and that hatred and discrimination against Americans have no place in our political process.”
“We are Better Than This” campaign
NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. We are a nonpartisan nonprofit and the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council, which works to strengthen the Iranian-American community and promote greater understanding between the U.S. and Iran.
NIAC Action 1411 K St NW, Ste 250 Washington, DC 20005 USA
Helping to advance peace and the Iranian-American community.
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