November 19, 2015

NIAC Action Condemns Discriminatory Backlash to Heinous Terrorist Attacks

Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: (202) 386-6408
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – NIAC Action condemns the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 innocent people and injured dozens of others, and is deeply concerned by the reactionary proposals offered by some U.S. politicians in response – including suggestions to openly infringe on the rights of Americans based on their religious faith and calls for the U.S. to suspend the admittance of refugees and potentially non-refugee visa seekers from Middle Eastern countries, including Iran.

The Paris attacks were indeed an assault on all of humanity, and NIAC Action expresses its deep remorse for the victims and its solidarity with the people of Paris. It is in the same vein that we condemn the backlash of discriminatory and xenophobic rhetoric and proposals offered by numerous politicians–including many candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination. These reactions reflect a dangerous demagoguery that not only poses real policy hazards, but also risks inciting discrimination towards American communities of Middle Eastern descent, including the Iranian-American community. 

Some candidates, such as Donald Trump, have suggested the United States should openly consider special identification cards for Muslim Americans. Others, like Governor Jeb Bush, have suggested only non-Muslim refugees should be admitted from Syria. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced an amendment to cut off assistance to refugees from a number of listed countries, including Iran, and announced plans for legislation to suspend the issuance of visas to “nationals of countries with a high risk of terrorism.” NIAC Action is seeking clarification from Senator Paul’s office and tracking other potential legislation and will update its members on needed action.

The irresponsible, over-heated rhetoric and proposals directed toward Syrian refugees, persons of Middle East descent, and Muslim Americans is completely anathema to America’s core values and must be repudiated. By allowing terrorists to turn them against the principles that make America great, these politicians only empower forces of radicalism and make our country less secure.

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