Muslim Advocates Responds to More Anti-Muslim Bigotry in California Congressional Race

The following is a statement from Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates, regarding recently reported anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric in the campaign for the 50th Congressional District of California.  Over this past weekend, this race saw another effort to paint one of the candidates, who is of Palestinian descent, as a terrorist threat by stating he might leak classified information, because he has family “in the Middle East.” This is the latest of a series of incorrect and inflammatory statements about American Muslims in this campaign that include ads claiming that this candidate is part of a Muslim conspiracy to “infiltrate Congress.”  

“In an election where anti-Muslim falsehoods and conspiracy theories are commonplace, the statements being made in this California congressional race are among the most inflammatory, incorrect and explicit expressions of bigotry.

This weekend’s letter is the latest of several troubling statements coming out of this race, where Islam has been painted as something other than a religion – as a ‘government’ that needs to be ‘fought;’ where it’s been claimed that teaching students not to bully Muslims is propaganda; and a grand Muslim conspiracy to ‘infiltrate’ Congress has been invoked.

These aren’t accidental and unrehearsed expressions of bigotry, these are calculated attacks on American Muslims. This rhetoric only hurts the country. It gives license to those who commit acts of violence against American Muslims and, as we’ve seen in election after election, it rarely even results in votes.

Muslim Advocates is a 501c3 charity and we do not endorse or oppose candidates for office. Muslim Advocates is tracking and responding to this type of rhetoric because hate violence against Muslims is now at an all-time high and, according to California State University-San Bernardino, this rhetoric is strongly correlated to increases in hate violence.”