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Indian American political leaders denounce Pittsburgh synagogue attack

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The Tree of Life synagogue

Saying “that this administration has been too accommodating of White Supremacy,” Raja Krishnamoorthi calls for emergency congressional hearing.

Indian American political leaders have denounced Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that has so far claimed 11 lives.

A gunman, identified as Robert Bowers, 46, stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning and opened fire at the worshippers inside. Bowers reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks while carrying out the attacks, and since then news organizations have unearthed a number of anti-Semitic posts on social media.

“Heartbroken by the senseless gun violence at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,” tweeted California’s Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. “Everyone should be safe in their place of worship. We cannot give in to or be silent about the hatred and violence that causes too many Americans to live in fear. We must act.”

Outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also denounced the attack on twitter. She wrote “My heart breaks for the families and community of the Tree Of Life Synagogue. An attack on the most sacred of places is the cruelest and most cowardly act a person can do. There is and will never be any tolerance for hate.”

In a lengthy statement posted on his website, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, blamed the administration of President Trump for being sympathetic to white supremacists.

“It is past time for all of us to admit that this administration has been too accommodating of White Supremacy,” he said. “It is an incontrovertible fact that hate-based violence has increased in the two years since President Trump took office. Muslims and Jews, Hindus and Sikhs have all been the subject of hate-based violence. Minorities of all types, including African-American, Latino and Asian-American or others, have all been targeted.”

Krishnamoorthi said, as the “nation reels from the second domestic terror attack this week, millions of us are left wondering how domestic terror could gain such a foothold in the United States.” He asked: “How did two Americans self-radicalize and carry out these attacks? Who is feeding this hateful ideology? Are there more attacks coming? And how could law enforcement have stepped in to prevent these attacks?”

Referring to Trump’s failure to criticize violent acts committed by white nationalists in Charlottesville last year, Krishnamoorthi said: “[When] America needed the President to clearly and unequivocally reject white supremacy, he instead insisted that there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides of the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville that killer Heather Heyer.  This type of rhetoric encourages the scourge of anti-Semitism and White Supremacist hatred.”

The congressman said, if the administration “will not act to protect all Americans from hate-based attacks, Congress can and must act.” He called for emergency hearings of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate white supremacist violence.

Krishnamoorthi’s Democratic congressional colleagues Ami Bera, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal also condemned synagogue attack.

Bera tweeted: “How many more must die before we have the courage to confront this problem? We have the ability to confront hatred today. All that is lacking is the will from our political leaders.”

Hatred and bigotry have no place in America. My heart goes out to the victims, their families, our heroic first responders, and the Jewish community. We stand with you.

“I am horrified and heartbroken by this shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue,” Khanna wrote on twitter. “My heart is with the congregation, the Pittsburgh community, and all those affected by this horrible tragedy. When will the violence end?

“This is a horrific attack,” Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, tweeted. “My heart goes out to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and all who are affected. We must counter all forms of anti-Semitism, hate and violence with action: action rooted in anti-racism, solidarity and love.”


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