(WASHINGTON, D.C, 1/6/22) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today marked the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and noted that many of the extremists who targeted Congress that day have been targeting the American Muslim community for years.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“On the one-year anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, we reiterate our condemnation of the violent insurrectionists who attempted to overturn the 2020 election and the man who inspired them, former president Donald Trump. We continue to call for accountability for those responsible, and we once again thank those Capitol police officers, like Eugene Goodman, who risked their lives to derail this attempted coup.
“It is important to remember that many of the far-right militias, conspiracy theorists and racists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6th spent years beforehand being radicalized and organized around a different target: American Muslims.
“After using the manufactured Park51 controversy as their rallying point in 2010, anti-Muslim hate groups spent a decade spreading the idiotic conspiracy theory that American Muslims were secretly planning to impose Islamic law on America–and that the Obama administration was indifferent or involved.
“This lunacy had real consequences. GOP-Tea Party candidates demanded the passage of so-called anti-Sharia laws nationwide after the 2010 election. Groups like the III% militia and Soldiers of Odin took up arms to protest American mosques. Vandals and arsonists went further.
“The same pattern–politicians fanning conspiracy theories that produce violence–has led to attacks on Black churches, synagogues, Latino communities, and anti-racism protesters, as well as violence against others around the world.
“Just as conspiracy theories about Muslims led to the passage of laws designed to restrict freedom of religion and resulted in attacks on houses of worship, conspiracy theories about voter fraud have led to anti-voting laws and attacks on the government.
“On January 6th, Congress was the latest target of extremists who have been wreaking havoc on Muslims for years. Politicians who allow extremism targeting one group to fester should know it doesn’t end there. Those extremists eventually look for new targets. Maybe you.
“American Muslims have been sounding the alarm about these groups and their enablers for years. They do not only threaten our community; they endanger everyone. January 6th was not their start–or, it seems, their end. We must stand united against the extremists and all those who enable them.”
For the past several years, CAIR has documented and stood up against the rising violent threat of armed extremists targeting American Muslims and other minority communities.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530, e-Mitchell@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280, firstname.lastname@example.org