Since the attacks in San Bernandino, Calif. and Paris, hate crimes jumped yet again against the group that always has to pay for horrendous acts they never committed.
The attacks are propagated by anti-Muslim rhetoric. The pen really is mightier than the sword. As unbelievable as it sounds, some people actually take reality TV and that neurosurgeon who needs neurosurgery seriously.
We saw that when mosques got threatened with promises of bombs, actually got bombed and were set on fire.
We saw that when a little girl was punched and called “ISIS” by her fellow middle-schoolers.
We saw that in the anti-Muslim free-for-all the Republicans called a debate.
We see that week after week after week.
We saw that so much, in fact, that MuslimGirl unfortunately had to publish a safety crisis guide.
On Dec. 17, Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and many other House Democrats took action by proposing legislation that would condemn anti-Muslim bigotry and those who promote it.
“We must show that we will not tolerate this anti-Muslim discrimination and that those who propagate it do not represent the melting-pot America that we celebrate,” Beyer said.
“These harmful words eventually lead to the very acts of violence many came to our country to escape in the first place. It’s time Congress stood up to condemn these attacks which run contrary to American values,” he said.
The bill would bring the effect of hateful rhetoric to national attention. It would reaffirm the First Amendment during a time many need reminding of it.
The House Resolution entails the following text:
- “Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.
Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;
Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished American value and violence or hate speech towards any American community based on their faith is in contravention of our founding principles;
Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born Americans;
Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of American society;
Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the American values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;
Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;
Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances;
Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways.”
To combat the anti-Muslim bigotry, if passed, the House of Representatives:
- Expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;
- Steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;
- Denounces in the strongest terms the increase of intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim;
- Recognizes that the Muslim community in the United States has made countless positive contributions to our society;
- Declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;
- Urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and
- Reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.
We see you, Mr. Beyer and fellow cosponsors. Thank you for helping us plead the first. Thank you for showing true leadership and what America is really about.