CAIR-Philadelphia Congratulates State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell; Calls for the State House to Censure Rep. Stephanie Borowicz for her Divisive Opening Prayer

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 3/26/19) – The Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) today congratulated State Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell on her election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Rep. Johnson-Harrell — a businesswoman, community activist, and civil servant — was elected to the State House from Philadelphia’s 190th District in a special election and becomes the first Muslim woman serving in the Pennsylvania legislature.

SEE: Rep. Johnson-Harrell’s Message to Pennsylvania Voters (video)

CAIR-Philadelphia works on a non-partisan basis to train American Muslims in civil engagement and encourages Pennsylvania Muslims to fully participate in the democratic political process.

CAIR-Philadelphia also today condemned Republican Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, whose invocation at the beginning of the House session was filled with divisive and intolerant anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish rhetoric.

SEE: Pa. Legislature’s first Muslim woman calls prayer delivered by fellow House member blatant ‘Islamophobia’

Freshman’s Prayer in Pennsylvania House Generates Complaints

Commenting on Borowicz’s prayer, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender said: “On this significant day, when Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds could celebrate the swearing-in of the Commonwealth’s first female Muslim House member — thus expanding the tradition of religious freedom so important to the history of this Commonwealth — Republican Rep. Stephanie Borowicz chose instead to deliver a thinly-veiled attack on the Islamic faith of Rep. Johnson-Harrell that failed to meet even the most minimum standards of mutual respect and religious tolerance. The intolerant ideology of Borowicz’s bigoted bombast, rife with right-wing Christian triumphalism and obvious Islamophobic and anti-Semitic tropes, was long ago rejected by all mainstream Christian denominations in this country. Stephanie Borowicz deserves to be censured by the entire Pennsylvania House of Representatives so that it is abundantly clear that hate speech against any religion has no place in our republic’s political process.”