U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) of the 8th Congressional District, recently made bigoted comments regarding Muslim Americans (see here). In response, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago has called upon people of all faiths to contact Rep. Walsh and voice their condemnation of his remarks (see contact info below). JCUA Board Chair, Rabbi Bruce Elder, heeded the call and sent a message. Read Rabbi Elder’s message below, and then contact Rep. Walsh with your message.
Rep. Walsh,I was at the vigil at which you spoke at the Sikh Temple in Palatine Monday evening. It was wonderful to see you there and share words of support for a community devastated by the tragedy of the hate crime carried out in Wisconsin. We must all do our best to rid our society of the prejudices that lurk in its corners and the opportunities fear-mongers utilize to seize upon those prejudices and prey upon any of our nation’s vulnerable populations…
… which is why I cannot reconcile the words you shared with us on Monday evening with your comments about Muslims revealed last night. As an elected official, don’t you have a responsibility, not to reinforce and enflame, but to rise above petty stereotypes and generalizations to move all Americans forward, in unity, toward the realization of our collective dreams and aspirations? How can you speak of peace, justice, and support for some of your constituents one day while disavowing the legitimacy of others the very next? Had the tragedy in Wisconsin been at a mosque, would you not have shown up at a mosque here the very next day to show your support? Your sentiments indicate otherwise.
I know that I am not in your district and that, therefore, you can easily dismiss my concerns. But, I hope that the words shared by many of us will show you that many of us around your district and beyond will support the Muslim community against any hate-filled diatribe, especially one that comes from an elected official who should know better.
It’s the American thing to do.
Thank you for your time.
Rabbi Bruce Elder
Contact Rep. Joe Walsh and voice your concern:
- Fox Lake office: 847-973-9341
- Washington DC office: 202-225-3711
- Email Rep. Walsh