In a strongly worded letter to Speaker Mike Johnson, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) has called for immediate congressional condemnation of “acts of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate and violence” following the recent escalation in the Middle East conflict.
The letter, dated Nov 2, highlighted an ongoing resolution in the US House of Representatives condemning support for “Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations” at higher education institutions, emphasizing the potential creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.
Krishnamoorthi, however, pointed out that there is no parallel effort against Islamophobia, deeming it “unacceptable.”
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The Illinois Democrat noted that he has “consistently condemned acts of hate against all communities” and he believes “that blatant acts of antisemitism—such as religiously motivated death threats, violence, and the defacing of buildings— are abhorrent and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.”
Citing a tragic incident in his home state of Illinois, the Indian American congressman recounted the brutal stabbing death of six-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume and the severe injury of his mother.
He attributed this heinous crime to Islamophobia, stating that it was motivated by the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict. He stated that such reprehensible acts must be denounced at the highest levels of the US government.
Krishnamoorthi asserted that the concerns raised are not merely symbolic, emphasizing the need to address all forms of hate to prevent a recurrence of the post-9/11 spike in hate crimes against Muslims.
He called for legislative measures to condemn Islamophobia, urging swift action to represent all constituents affected during these challenging times.
The congressman concluded by emphasizing the urgency of condemning both antisemitism and Islamophobia concurrently, encouraging the US Congress to act swiftly to uphold commitments to a nation free from fear and discrimination for people of all faiths.
Here is the text of the letter:
“This week, it is our understanding that the US House is voting on a congressional resolution “condemning the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations at institutions of higher education, which may lead to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty, and staff.”
“During my time in Congress, I have consistently condemned acts of hate against all communities, and I believe that blatant acts of antisemitism such as religiously motivated death threats, violence, and the defacing of buildings— are abhorrent and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.”
“However, I write to you today because I am very concerned that as a US Congress, we are not taking similar action to condemn acts of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate and violence. This is unacceptable.
“Mr. Speaker— in response to the crisis in the Middle East, we have also witnessed acts of Islamophobic hate spread in our communities.
“We need not look any further than my home state of Illinois, where on October 14, six-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume was brutally stabbed to death 26 times, and his mother was severely wounded by their landlord “due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” according to the sheriff’s office.
“This reprehensible hate crime against an innocent boy and similar acts must be denounced at the highest levels of US government.
“In the days and weeks following the heinous murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, I have been steadfast in condemning Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate.
“Immediately following the death of Wadea, I released a strong statement’ and a video denouncing the hate-motivated murder, and will continue to lead efforts in speaking out against harmful bigotry that targets innocent Muslims solely based on their faith.
“President Biden has also condemned the death of Wadea and Islamophobia, and the Department of Justice has opened an investigation of Wadea’s murder and attack on his mother.
“In order to uphold our commitments to building a country where people of all faiths can live free from fear and discrimination, we must make clear that all acts of poisonous prejudice must be eradicated.
“Mr. Speaker— the concerns I raise to you today are not merely symbolic. As a U S Congress, we need to call out all hate so we do not repeat the past.
“In closing, as a US Congress, as we consider legislation to condemn acts of antisemitism, we must also consider legislative measures to condemn islamophobia.
“Please act swiftly so that we can address both priorities on the US House floor, so we can best represent all our constituents who are affected during this difficult time.”