April 8, 2019
Issues: Fighting Bigotry, Hate Crimes
Father of Slain Muslims to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Hate Crimes and White Nationalism
WASHINGTON, DC — Tomorrow at 10 AM ET, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of three American Muslims murdered by an anti-Muslim shooter and a client of Muslim Advocates, is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing entitled Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism. Click here to read Dr. Abu-Salha’s story.
This vital and long-overdue hearing is taking place just weeks after the massacre of 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand by an avowed white nationalist. The Christchurch shooting; similar mass murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina; as well as the historic numbers of hate crimes being committed in the U.S. highlight the increasingly deadly and urgent threat posed by white nationalism.
Dr. Abu-Salha—who lost his two daughters and son-in-law four years ago to an anti-Muslim shooter in an apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina—understands more than most the severe consequences of unchecked bigotry and discrimination.
“For far too long, our public officials have turned a blind eye to the extremist violence that is killing our children—that killed my children,” said Dr. Abu-Salha. “How many have to die until our government unequivocally stands up against bigotry in all forms, including white nationalist violence, and takes action to ensure that no other family has to experience what our families had to endure?”
“I’m so proud of Dr. Abu-Salha and the Abu-Salha and Barakat families, who, despite experiencing unimaginable loss and pain, have dedicated their lives to fighting hate and anti-Muslim bigotry,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “We must follow their example and take action to end the bigotry and hate that took the lives of his children. Congress must take this threat seriously. State lawmakers must enact strong hate crime laws and social media companies must do more to curb hate speech and stop their platforms from being used as an organizing tool for white nationalists. The FBI must reprioritize its counterterrorism resources toward fighting white nationalist violence. Civil rights groups have sought to meet with FBI Director Wray about this and his agency has failed to respond to this urgent need.”
The “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism” hearing will take place in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (April 9) at 10 AM ET in the Rayburn House Office Building Room 2141.
- Dr Abu-Salha’s story and photos of his family.
- Statements from Farhana Khera on the Christchurch shootings: Statement 1, Statement 2, Statement 3
- A letter from Muslim Advocates and other faith and civil rights groups asking FBI Director Christopher Wray for a meeting to discuss the continued threat of white nationalist violence
- Muslim Advocates’ statement on Facebook’s new policy banning white nationalist content.
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.