Washington, DC – Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement in response to anti-Iranian items being sold online:
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“Over the course of the past four years of the Trump administration, we have seen rising discrimination against immigrant communities and increasingly vicious discourse on the global stage. Iranian Americans are not strangers to this phenomenon — our community has been vilified and treated as second-class citizens by an administration that has made belligerent and divisive language a cornerstone of its platform.
“Today, we learned from members of our community that ‘Pro Trump’ clothing label is selling T-shirts using an expletive to describe our country of heritage: ‘F–k Iran.’ The apparel is being sold on Amazon, one of the largest online retailers in the world. The production and sale of an inflammatory, xenophobic product that celebrates the denigration of an entire country of 83 million people is unacceptable and NIAC calls on Amazon to immediately remove this offensive item. We are working now to ensure this happens and are hopeful that, as one of the many American companies that have increasingly denounced rising bigotry and discrimination against people of color, Amazon will take swift action to remove these items.
“This is yet another by-product of President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that fuels his base and creates an increasingly hostile environment for millions of Americans. It is also the reflection of a foreign policy that consistently undermines and disparages other countries and ethnicities. While there is no love lost among many of us in the Iranian-American community towards Iran’s repressive government, anyone who thinks Donald Trump cares about the people of Iran or will improve their plight through his own repressive policies is badly mistaken.
“To some, the sale of such a product may appear trivial. However, it is an affront not only to our community, but also to the principles that we claim to espouse as Americans and it only encourages further demonization and discrimination against Americans of Iranian heritage. The language and policies of our leaders have a significant impact on our communities and in shaping our views of other peoples and nations. We will soon have the opportunity to remove our current hateful leader from office through the ballot box, and we call on Amazon to uphold its stated values by removing these hateful products from their website.”