Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Farhana Khera, founding executive director of Muslim Advocates, on the announcement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be making comments at a hate crime summit today hosted by the Department of Justice. Sessions’ remarks and the summit coincide with the partial reinstatement of the Muslim ban executive order. A representative of Muslim Advocates will be speaking on a panel at the same summit later that day to advocate for a stronger response to hate crimes and another representative of Muslim Advocates will be on-hand at Dulles airport to assist and advise travelers who might become ensnared by the Muslim ban:
“Today is a day of real concern for American Muslims. After a steady years-long drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy proposals from the Trump campaign and administration, the Muslim ban will be partially reinstated. At the same time, the Justice Department will be hosting a summit on how to address the hate crimes that have multiplied in this climate of bigotry.
Muslim Advocates will be at Dulles airport to add our support to the incredible initiatives that help travelers who are profiled or detained. We will also be at the Justice Department to ensure that our concerns about the alarming increase in hate violence against American Muslims and other communities are heard.
The past two years have been terrifying for Muslims who have been subject to murders, beatings, and harassment and whose mosques have been shot at, vandalized, and burned to the ground–all with relative silence from the Trump campaign and administration.
It was recently announced that Attorney General Sessions will address this summit. Sessions’ record on civil rights is deplorable. As a senator, he voted against hate crimes laws and the Violence Against Women Act. As Attorney General, he’s rolled back police reform and the rights of transgender students while overseeing a department that’s defending the Muslim ban and anti-immigrant laws while shirking its responsibility to enforce the Voting Rights Act.
We urge the Attorney General and the Trump Administration to stop enacting discriminatory policies, to stop engaging in anti-Muslim rhetoric that gives license to extremists to commit violent acts, and to speak up and condemn hate when it rears its ugly head.”
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.