Muslim advocates respond to violence in Virginia

Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON)– Muslim advocates issued a statement Saturday afternoon following the violence sparked at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates, Scott Simpson, wrote the response on behalf of the organization.

Today, we mourn both the loss of life and our shared values in Charlottesville, as we learn the cost of silence: violence.

For the past week, FBI agents have been investigating the firebombing of a mosque in Minnesota as a possible hate-motivated terrorist attack. Instead of showing compassion for the Muslim community, a senior White House Official sloughed off the attacked as a possible “fake” hate crime. President Trump’s response? Silence.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, regarding today’s rally stated “I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.” We agree.

Now, as white supremacists commandeer Charlottesville, Trump referred to a long history of violence in our country. For once, he’s correct. But, for many years, the white supremacist movement was marginalized to the fringes of our society. Now, through his presidency and two year campaign rhetoric of bigotry and hate, Trump has catalyzed the movement and fostered an environment that allows this type of violence and bigoted ideology to prosper.

President Trump’s press conference and tweets today are not enough. He must take responsibility for his role in propagating white nationalist ideology and fueling their movement. We call on him to immediately denounce the white supremacy movement by name and remove those who condone white supremacy, like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, from the White House. Their mere presence, and their prime roles in fanning these flames of bigotry, is a silent endorsement of this violence.

There is only one side of hate, vulgarity, and violence.”

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