Today, Muslim Advocates called for the resignation of Annabelle Lima-Taub, a commissioner in Hallandale Beach, Florida, for claiming on Facebook that U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first Muslim congresswomen, might “become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.” In a statement issued today, Muslim Advocates’ public advocacy director Scott Simpson said:
Hate speech should have no place in our politics. We condemn Commissioner Lima-Taub’s deeply offensive words and call on her to resign as Hallandale Beach commissioner immediately. There is no religious litmus test to hold public office in the United States and any politician who would spout this kind of vile anti-Muslim rhetoric is clearly not fit to govern.
As detailed in our Running on Hate report, this kind of hateful rhetoric may succeed at encouraging bigotry and violence against American Muslims, but it fails as an electoral strategy, with many anti-Muslim politicians losing elections, getting recalled, resigning, or opting against seeking re-election. Commissioner Lima-Taub should step down and someone more capable of actively serving people of all faiths should take her place.
Further, Commissioner Lima-Taub’s hateful words once again bring to light an ongoing trend of vile attacks on vulnerable communities committed through social media. Her ugly and harmful post is one of many that Facebook has ignored or even encouraged through its policies. Muslim Advocates and many other will continue to call for needed reforms at Facebook to address the bigotry that is running rampant on the platform.