ADL Urges Rep. Virgil Goode Jr. To Reconsider Anti-Muslim Remarks
Washington, DC, December 21, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Representative Virgil Goode Jr. (R-VA) to "rethink your ill-conceived remarks about Muslims in America."
In a letter to his constituents discussing the recent election of Keith Ellison, a Muslim American, to Congress and his desire to be privately sworn in with the Koran, Rep. Goode wrote that Americans needed to "wake up" or else there would "likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding use of the Koran."
David C. Friedman, ADL Washington D.C. Regional Director, issued the following statement:
To suggest Muslims should be viewed with fear, based solely on their faith, demonizes millions of people living in our communities. Politicians and civic leaders have a responsibility not to engage in divisive appeals based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.
Representative Goode's letter demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the fundamental religious guarantees enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Members of Congress, like all Americans, should be free to observe their own religious practices without government interference or coercion.
It is both ironic and troubling that the sentiments expressed come from an elected leader from the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state that is often referred to as the birthplace of religious freedom in America and has welcomed immigrants from many shores.
In a letter to Rep. Goode, ADL urged him to "rethink your ill-conceived remarks about Muslims in America."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.