October 23, 2019
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
Muslim Advocates Responds to ND State Senator’s Continued Attacks on Muslim Congresswoman
Group Echoes Governor and Majority Leaders’ Calls for Resignation
WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain responding to North Dakota State Sen. Oley Larsen’s refusal to apologize to Rep. Ilhan Omar for posting false information and photos on Facebook claiming she is a terrorist and instead spewing a litany of anti-Muslim stereotypes. Muslim Advocates and North Dakota’s governor and senate majority leader have called on Larsen to resign from his senate leadership position. Muslim Advocates is also urging North Dakotans to email state leaders to echo this call.
“Senator Larsen’s weak non-apology for spreading offensive disinformation contains a laundry list of anti-Muslim tropes that are just as harmful and misleading as his original claims. Disturbing stereotypes suggesting Muslims are foreign and anti-American contribute to an environment of discrimination and even physical violence against American Muslims.
Governor Doug Burgum and Majority Leader Rich Wardner were right to call for his resignation as president pro tempore of the Senate and his refusal to even apologize shows why. A man this hostile to religious freedom and interfaith dialogue has no place holding a leadership position like this. Oley Larsen does not represent North Dakota’s values and he is unfit to serve as interim president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate. We echo the calls for him to step down and we urge all North Dakotans to raise their voices and tell their representatives that their state is a place where religious freedom matters.”
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.