FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Trita Parsi
Email: [email protected]
Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement in response to the Nazi violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and President Trump’s tolerance of White Supremacists:
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“The ‘Unite the Right’ neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is both a national tragedy and a wake-up call to all who believe in a pluralistic, tolerant, and hate-free society. The National Iranian American Council condemns this intolerant ideology, the violence it espouses and the political support it unfortunately enjoys in the Trump administration.
“Those who are marching in Charlottesville under the banner of Nazi Swastikas, burning torches, and the Ku Klux Klan’s grotesque rendition of the cross know full well the meaning of these symbols. They represent a history of mass graves, lynchings, and destruction. This demonstration by these White Supremacists is not one of cultural pride nor is it a genuine expression of First Amendment rights. It is a gathering of armed men who are terrorizing, looting, and destroying an entire community.
“Trump’s condemnation of violence “from all sides” only emboldens the true culprits by drawing a false equivalency between armed neo-Nazi thugs who have used such tactics as ramming vehicles into defenseless crowds with those who demonstrated peacefully against their hate. This Nazi violence has resulted in at least one death, numerous injuries, and the issuance of a state of emergency by the Governor of Virginia.
“The movement itself, however, and its new-found emboldenment, is the direct result of the hate speech, intolerance and divisiveness of president-elect and later President Donald Trump himself. From racist remarks about Latinos and Mexicans, to the Muslim Ban, to the shocking tolerance – and at times defense of – the intolerance and hatred of White Supremacists, Donald Trump has emboldened, enabled and empowered these domestic, radical terrorists.
“America, as a result of Trump’s unholy alliance with White Supremacists, is weaker, more divided and less safe.
“We must stand united against this hate. We must recognize that hate in any form, whether it be Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, or racism, is unacceptable and incompatible with American values. These are but variant strains of the same cancerous ideology that separates people based on race, color, and creed.
“We stand in proud support of all those who are responding to this violent hate with peaceful assembly and call upon the institutions of our states and federal government to respond swiftly and harshly against anyone who incites or enables violence; including the President of the United States himself.”