Shortly after a gunman killed six worshipers in a Wisconsin Sikh temple and a Joplin Missouri mosque was burned to the ground, Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh felt perfectly comfortable uttering incendiary anti-Muslim comments at a town hall meeting last Wednesday, warning that “there is a radical strain of Islam in this country…trying to kill Americans every week.” Offering no evidence or backup for his allegations, he continued: “It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin. It’s here.”
Then he poured it on:
I’m looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness. Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.
Shortly after Walsh’s town meeting remarks, pellet rifle shots were fired at a mosque in Morton Grove, IL.
I don’t know about a domestic “radical Islamic plot” but by now it should be abundantly clear that there is a deadly strain of Islamophobia in our country. In such a climate, I’d say it is the height of irresponsibility for public servants to issue remarks such as these.
It was my honor to stand, together with interfaith colleagues, with my good friends at CAIR – Chicago to express our outrage at Walsh’s sick bigotry (clip above). If you stand with us, please, please let Rep. Walsh know how you feel.
HERE IS WHAT I SENT TO REPRESENTATIVE WALSH: Representative Walsh – I have to say, that I think your recent comments about Islam in the US are a bit on the extreme side. How can you rightly denounce an entire religion? Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with actual Moslem Americans, men, women, and children, in your own district. I think your remarks empower extremists and possibly violent people that I’m sure you don’t endorse.
Here in Skokie, I live side by side with my Moslem neighbors. There are my friends. We are a Jewish family. This is possible, and happening right here.
I just can’t relate to your blanket condemnation of Islam. Please reconsider the extreme stance you have taken. It doesn’t help make things better at all.
I think there’s a deadly strain of ignorant, racist politicians in this country. I’m looking for some godly men and women in the 8th Congressional District to vote this one out of office.
With respect, Lisa, I would prefer to leave God and godliness out of it. In fact, I think to a significant extent godliness, or at least “godliness” is the problem. How about just some good, decent, rational human beings who may or may not be godly?
Here is what I wrote to the Congressman:
Dear Congressman Walsh,
Your recent comments about radical Muslims living in Chicagoland have caused me great anguish and fear due to the recent local attacks in Morton Grove and Lombard that have occurred this past weekend. As a Muslim-American living in Chicago, I am now fearful of an attack on me and my religious center. There is a great lack of understanding about the religion of Islam in our country already, and when respected politicians make unbalanced comments about Islam as you have, it just skews the country towards more misunderstandings, hatred, and violence. Rather than make such general one-sided comments that can create more violence against Americans, I would greatly appreciate a more balanced approach to your concerns regarding Islam. It would have been nice if you tried to educate your constituents and fellow Americans about Islam and the great commonalities between it, Christianity, and Judaism in some way, while addressing your concerns for that very small population of radical Muslims.
Politicians such as yourself who mainly speak negatively of Islam in our post-9/11 society, are further breeding hatred among fellow Americans. Do you even remember what happened to Japanese-Americans during WWII due to the fear that was being fed to other Americans? Do you think the comments you made against Muslims aren’t contributing to a rise of fear, hatred, ignorance, and violence against peaceful Americans who are disheartened that their religion and safety have been hijacked?
The purpose of my statement is not asking you to be politically correct about Islam and the Muslims who follow that faith. Rather than that, I am asking you to be a responsible public official and represent ALL of your constituents. I kindly ask that you take the time to call/visit the Muslim-Americans whose safety has been threatened due to the fear and paranoia created by your unbalanced comments or make a public statement that would balance out the negative comments you made regarding a small population of violent Muslims.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
and did anyone get a response back from this crook ?!
To everyone on this forum,
As a muslim would like to thank my non-muslim fellow Americans to comments on this issue. I thanks all of you to speak against Joe Walsh wrong accused comments and show your good understanding for your fellow Muslim American. We all know results now but still we all need to backed each other to protect America from people like Mr. Walsh who need to educate them self on issues and religion. I like to thanks again and again to speak positive and true. Please speak loud amoung others to stop hate between all peaceful fellow American and all the religions since all belong to us as Americans. God Bless America.