WASHINGTON, July 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today demanded that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump apologize for disparaging the parents of a Muslim who died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
[NOTE: CAIR today also joined a #CanYouHearUsNow social media campaign by Muslim women activists challenging Trump's Islamophobic remarks. See below.]
The father of the slain soldier spoke at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last week and criticized Trump, saying he "consistently smears the character of Muslims" and demanding to know what similar sacrifices Trump had made. Holding up a copy of the Constitution, the Muslim father asked if Trump had ever read it. His wife stood silently by his side during the DNC address.
In an interview aired today on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Trump implied that the Muslim parents were being used by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign and seemed to exploit existing stereotypes of Islam by criticizing the Muslim mother, Ghazala Khan, for standing silently as her husband at the convention.
In fact, the wife did speak out in response to Trump's remarks.
Video: Muslim Gold Star Parents Speak Out Against Donald Trump's Disparaging Comments
Ghazala Khan: Trump criticized my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice.
Trump's disparagement of the Muslim "Gold Star" family has drawn widespread condemnation.
CAIR: Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire (NY Times)
CAIR: New Trump Outrage - He Disparages Muslim Family of Fallen U.S. Soldier (McClatchy)
In a statement responding to Trump's remarks, CAIR Board Chair Roula Allouch said:
"As the leader of America's largest Muslim civil rights organization, I urge Donald Trump to apologize for his shameful remarks disparaging a Muslim Gold Star family and for his repeated use and promotion of anti-Muslim stereotypes. Just as Donald Trump must apologize for his un-American remarks, Republican Party leaders must finally repudiate their candidate's divisive rhetoric."
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization also joined a social media campaign by American Muslim women demanding that Trump apologize for disparaging Ghazala Khan. In the #CanYouHearUsNow campaign, Muslim women activists are sharing the various ways they speak out every day.
Muslim women activists are being asked to tweet between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (EDT) tomorrow, Monday, August 1, using the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow. The Muslim women will tweet about who they are and how they speak out.
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in recent months, attributed at least in part to statements and policy proposals made by public figures like GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and others.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)