Press Conference: Muslim community responds to Congressman Joe Walsh
Walsh guilty of perpetuating hate and division among Americans
(CHICAGO, 8/9/2012) — On Friday, August 10th, the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), along with members of Chicago’s Muslim and interfaith communities, will hold a press conference to respond to Congressman Joe Walsh’s anti-Muslim statements made at a recent town hall meeting.
Walsh claims Muslims are infiltrating Chicago suburbs and are “trying to kill Americans every week”; saying they are a “real threat” that are imminent in Elk Grove, Madison, and Elgin. Walsh went on to explain that when speaking to high school students, he reminds them that another 9/11 is inevitable and will occur in the immediate future.
Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director for CAIR-Chicago, gave an immediate response to Walsh’s statements:
“Rep. Joe Walsh’s comments are consistent with the rise of the radical right and the insistence by some in the Republican party that Americans should be suspicious and fearful of fellow Americans – including Walsh’s own constituents – who are of a different faith.”
“Such indiscriminate vilification is not unrelated to the rise in hate crimes and acts of vandalism we are seeing today. When elected officials, trusted by many, indicate that the enemy could be any Muslim living in your neighborhood, it gives rise to xenophobic vigilantism where fearful citizens target other Americans for simply looking different.”
With the recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the burning down of a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, it is critical that the Chicagoland community be alert to any hateful rhetoric that might result in discrimination and hate crimes against fellow Americans. This press conference is being held to not only respond to Walsh’s comments, but to counter messages of hate with a message of tolerance, acceptance, and equality.
WHAT: Press Conference to respond to Rep. Joe Walsh’s anti-Muslim statements
WHEN: Friday, August 10, 10:30AM
WHERE: CAIR-Chicago Gallery, 28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60604
WHO: CAIR-Chicago, the Chicago Muslim community, and interfaith partners
CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance.