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NV Rep. Berkley condemns VA Rep. Goode’s anti-Muslim comments

By Dr. Aslam Abdullah

Muslims in Nevada received almost unanimous assurance from their state’s congressional delegates to the federal government that a Virginian congressman’s anti-Muslim remarks would not go unanswered.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV-1st) was the first to issue a condemnation. Other congressional delegates such as Jon Porter (R-NV-3rd), and Senators John Ensign (R) and Harry Reid (D) were also preparing statements challenging the assertions of the Virginia congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA-5th) that Muslims would pose a threat to the security of the country.

Congressman Goode recently sent a letter to his constituents regarding the recent election of Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, a Muslim (D-MN-5th), and Ellison’s intention to swear his oath of office on a copy of the Qur`an. The letter stated:

“I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States.”

Congressman Goode’s letter said that if Americans, “don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

In her statement responding to Goode’s assertions, Rep. Berkley wrote :

“Congressman Goode mentions ‘values and beliefs traditional in the United States.’ Has Congressman Goode never heard of the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom? Does he not know that immigrants seeking religious freedom founded many of the early communities in what would become the United States of America? It is shocking that a member of the United States House of Representatives could espouse such narrow-minded, misinformed…” views.

“Is he not familiar with the American motto, E Pluribus Unum, literally, ‘from many, one?’ The United States is the most successful country, the most free, and the most pluralistic. The many religions, races, and cultures of our nation come together to help make America great.

Without question, Muslims in America have made many outstanding contributions to the nation through their accomplishments in medicine, science, arts, scholarship, business, and the civic life of our communities.”

“Yet, infuriated by the presence of one member of the Muslim faith being elected to the U.S. Congress, Congressman Goode seeks to prevent Muslims from legally entering the US, asserts that they are un-American, and wants to deny the religious freedom of his lone Muslim colleague in Congress.”

“Thankfully, Congressman Goode does not speak for Congress, and his comments have inspired outrage from a broad cross section of American religious groups.”

“I will oppose his policy of division, fear, and prejudice. His views are despicable, and they hit me personally. I have an ‘only in America’ story to tell: A long-time good friend of mine in Las Vegas is Muslim.

Years back, this friend had another friend who is Jewish, as I am. My Muslim friend thought his two Jewish friends, both single, might make a good match. So he introduced us. And that is why I am married to my wonderful husband today. Only in America could a Muslim man introduce a Jewish man to the Jewish lady whom he would marry. This is the America of goodwill and respect for others I believe in, as does the vast majority of all Americans.

I believe a person of any faith is just as American as anyone else.”


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