September 1, 2020
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
Muslim Advocates to Joy Reid: Apologize On Air Tonight for Anti-Muslim Comments
Reid’s Latest Comments Part of Longstanding Pattern of Equating Muslims with Extremist Violence
Washington, DC — On Monday evening, MSNBC host Joy Reid spread the anti-Muslim smear comparing how “Muslims act” to how President Trump is encouraging white nationalist violence in the wake of nationwide protests against anti-Black police brutality. During her show, Reid said, “the leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence, including on their own bodies, in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy. We in the U.S. media describe that as they are radicalizing those people—particularly they are radicalizing young people. That’s how we talk about the way Muslims act. When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
These comments are the latest in a longstanding pattern. Muslim Advocates has previously raised concerns about posts on Reid’s old blog that shared similar, anti-Muslim sentiments and stated that “current iterations of Islam are largely incompatible with Western notions of free speech and expression.” The following is a statement from Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates’s special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry:
“Joy Reid must apologize on air tonight for spreading the false, dangerous myth that Muslims are inherently radical and violent. MSNBC also needs to take action to ensure anti-Muslim bigotry has no place on its network. Muslims have been gunned down in their homes and houses of worship by people who believe in the very same hateful, false smears that Reid shared on her program. This is deadly serious and it’s part of a dangerous, longstanding pattern.
An unfortunate reality for American Muslims today is that anti-Muslim comments like this are routinely made by people who are ostensibly sympathetic to us. But that should not give them a pass to promote hate. Reid’s words erase the painstaking work Muslims have done to protest the Trump administration’s bigoted policies and fight for equality for all people. Her words give white nationalists a license to commit more bigotry and violence against our community. Joy Reid, Muslims are hurting and you’re contributing to the problem.
We call on Reid to apologize on air tonight. We also call on MSNBC to apologize for letting this happen and convene a meeting with Muslim community leaders to ensure that steps are taken to end anti-Muslim bigotry at the network.”
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.