August 22, 2017
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
ACT For America Forced to Back Down From Hate Rallies
Muslim Advocates and Center for New Community call on Americans to continue speaking up against hate and bigotry
Washington, DC – Amidst national outcry against bigoted and violent protests, ACT for America is distancing its brand from almost 70 anti-Muslim rallies it organized across the country for September 9th. Earlier this year in June, ACT organized similar rallies that attracted not only anti-Muslim activists, but also a host of armed militia-type groups and white supremacists.
“Our nation is at a pivotal turning point, where our very identity will be shaped by how we respond to the vicious waves of hate and bigotry coming at us,” said Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates. “By removing its name from any events scheduled for September 9th, after galvanizing supporters and attendees in nearly 70 cities across the country, ACT is essentially acknowledging that these types of events cause and incite violence. But now, ACT’s previous organizing efforts have likely inspired local organizers to carry on with these rallies as planned. The reality is that ACT for America’s supporters are no different than those who marched in and supported the Charlottesville events. That’s why we must continue to raise our united voices and refuse to let bigotry divide our country.”
ACT’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, regularly vilifies Muslims, claiming that practicing Muslims cannot be loyal to the United States. She also once said that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim” and that Muslims are a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society.” Both she and ACT have had a long history of promoting policies at the federal and state levels intended to manufacture fear of Muslims.
“ACT’s decision to cancel these anti-Muslim rallies is a victory for everyone who rejects racism and bigotry,” said Lindsay Schubiner, advocacy director at the Center for New Community. “This represents a public recognition that ACT’s odious views attract white supremacists akin to those who rallied in Charlottesville. ACT is clearly running scared, afraid of backlash in the event that white supremacists at its rallies commit violence. This is one small step toward justice, but we must not stop working to stem the rising tide of racism in this country.”
Although ACT has removed its endorsement and branding from any rallies that may take place, many of the protests have already been organized, and may continue with or without ACT’s brand attached. Muslim Advocates and Center for New Community call on community leaders and politicians to publicly speak out against these hate-filled protests.
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.
The Center for New Community tracks organized bigotry and equips grassroots movements to mobilize a powerful force for justice, fairness, and opportunity. For two decades, CNC has worked to build a just society that values the inherent dignity of all people.