Washington, DC – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after inflammatory remarks from Rep. Steve King:
“NIAC Action condemns remarks by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in which he suggested that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson’s (D-IN) commitment to upholding the Constitution should be in question because they are Muslim. The real question is how anyone who openly calls for religious discrimination against fellow Americans can be trusted to uphold the Constitution, which fundamentally protects religious freedom.
“Reps. Ellison and Carson, like other Muslim Americans, have made extraordinary contributions to this country, including through their service in Congress. Attacks on their faith are an insult to the core, founding principles of America that make our country great.
“Rep. King should immediately apologize for his insulting and inflammatory remarks and Republican leaders should make clear there is no place for this sort of rhetoric. King’s comments, like the outrageous calls from GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, only fan the flames of hatred and fear. Their rhetoric is an attack on America and the core values of freedom and democracy that make this country great.
“The Iranian-American community – which includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahais, and atheists – is very religiously diverse. However, an attack on religious freedom is an attack on all of us because it’s an attack on a key principle America was founded on. NIAC Action and NIAC are among the dozens of organizations to sign onto the “We are Better Than This” campaign that urges lawmakers to denounce hateful rhetoric. Moving forward, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the rights of Americans are not conditional based on religion or national origin, and that hatred and discrimination against Americans have no place in our political process.”
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