Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Trent Franks
Representative Louie Gohmert
Representative Thomas Rooney
Representative Lynn Westmoreland
Dear Representatives Bachmann, Franks, Gohmert, Rooney, and Westmoreland:
We were deeply disturbed by your letter accusing certain Muslim Americans of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and undermining U.S. policy.
No one doubts the veracity of the assessments that there are deliberate attempts by international terrorist groups to find new ways to infiltrate and threaten the United States. But the fight against terror is ill-served by efforts to single out individuals because of their religion-- whatever that religion may be-- for suspicion.
Your sweeping accusations against American citizens who are Muslim are unfair and misguided. Absent clear evidence of direct ties between these individuals and the Muslim Brotherhood, such allegations foment fear and cast the kind of suspicion that undermines rather than advances American counterterrorism efforts.
We were particularly shocked by your wholly unwarranted and inappropriate attack on the Department of Justice’s strong stance against hate crimes committed against Muslims, Sikhs, and people of Arab and South Asian descent. DOJ takes seriously its responsibility to protect the equal rights of all Americans. DOJ’s outreach efforts, and its commitment to combat hate crimes targeting Muslims, should be applauded, not attacked. After all, the most recent FBI data on hate crimes reflects a disturbing, sustained level of violence directed against Muslims.
Any suggestion that DOJ’s critically important policy to combat hate crimes was influenced or motivated by the Muslim Brotherhood is unfounded, and reflects a dangerous kind of conspiratorial thinking.
Members of Congress have an essential role to play in raising legitimate concerns about threats to America’s security from international terrorist groups. Those efforts should not be tainted by the kind of stereotyping and prejudice that has too frequently accompanied the public debate.
Given these concerns, which have been echoed by respected and prominent Members of Congress from both parties, we strongly urge you to reconsider your allegations and to refrain from promoting or trafficking in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories in the future.
Robert G Sugarman,
Abraham H. Foxman,