Democratic Reps. are inviting representatives of the Council of American-Islamic Relations to President Obama's final State of the Union Address tonight, a move that's sure to piss off the GOP (But you know what? Good.)
Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) and Alcee Hastings (Fla.) will both be hosting representatives from CAIR chapters in their respective states, the group announced Monday.
Lofgren will be bringing Sameena Usman, a government relations coordinator in the San Francisco office, while Hastings will host Nezar Hamze, the chief operating officer of the nonprofit's Florida branch.The announcement comes days after Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, challenged Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to bring a Muslim American as one of his guests to the speech.
"This is an opportunity to really drive the point home that there are no Americans who are suspect just based on their religious identity, that all Americans are welcome in the people’s house," Ellison said in an interview with The Hill.
Demoratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has also urged Democratic lawmakers to bring Muslims to the speech as a rebuke to what she sees is anti-Islamic language from the right.
"The rhetoric and vitriol that has been targeted at this community has been absolutely outrageous and unacceptable," Wasserman Schultz said at a news conference according to The Sun-Sentinel.
"And as a member of a minority religion myself, one that has faced persecution throughout our existence, to me the idea that we would stand idly by and ignore that and not stand up and use our voices to stand up for our brothers and sisters in the Muslim-American community was just unacceptable."
My dislike for Wasserman Schultz aside, she has a definite point about the constant Republican rhetoric of rampant Islamophobia, and challenging these bigoted assholes at every opportunity is absolutely the right way to go.