—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (March 7, 2011) – In a press release issued today the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) demanded action from several congressmen and council members who participated in an anti-Muslim hate rally in Orange County and called on the Republican Party to address growing anti-Islamic sentiment amongst its representatives.
“Four elected GOP officials contributed to a blatant display of bigotry in Orange County, one that specifically targeted members of their respective districts. Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar), Villa Park Council Member Deborah Pauly and Yorba Linda Council Member John Anderson not only failed their constituents, but also commended those who promote hatred and intolerance of the Muslim community.
The Islamic Circle of North America and all people of conscience are outraged by the hateful and Islamophobic statements made by these officials at the anti-Muslim rally on February 13th. Our country stands for justice, equality and tolerance, none of which were exhibited by the congressmen and council members at this event. Ms. Pauly in fact stated, ‘I know quite a few Marines who would be happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise’—a clear and undeniable incitement of violence against the American Muslim community. There is no context under which such vile statements can be justified.
As Councilwoman and Orange County GOP Vice Chair, Ms. Pauly is expected to exemplify and promote the principles of our society, yet quite offensively falls short of that expectation. Her un-American speech echoes the horrific Jim Crow era and has no place in the peaceful, multi-faith and multi-ethnic America of today. ICNA demands that Ms. Pauly publicly apologize to her constituents and the attendees of the ICNA Relief fundraising dinner and their families and denounce violence toward Muslims or people of any faith. We further demand that Deborah Pauly resign or be removed from office by the City of Villa Park as well as the GOP.
Congressmen Royce and Miller and Councilman Anderson were also complicit in the proliferation of hate speech against the American Muslim community, and specifically against ICNA and ICNA Relief. Gary Miller told demonstrators that he was ‘proud’ of their efforts that day; we ask Congressman Miller if he was proud of the fact that these protesters terrorized and traumatized families and children, or that they defamed an entire community of law-abiding citizens. ICNA insists that these officials apologize for their participation in this rally, clarify their comments and explicitly state their sentiment toward the American Muslim community and organizations such as our own.
ICNA is deeply disturbed by the fact that all four of these elected officials are members of the GOP—an alarming indicator of the anti-Muslim sentiment amongst the party. We call upon the Republican Party to address the anti-Islamic rhetoric that is being spread by its members. Does the GOP fuel the rise of Islamophobia across the United States? What is its position on Deborah Pauly’s call for violence against the American Muslim community? Will the party continue to endorse those who divide the American community with hate speech? The GOP’s silence on these matters is despicable. The seven million American Muslims deserve more from a leading political party.”
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.
Islamic Circle of North America
Office: (718) 658-1199