U.S. Rep. Castor's Statement Condemning the Arson at the Daarus Salaam Mosque and the Uptick in Hate Crimes
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement today expressing her concerns about the recent uptick in activity by hate groups in Tampa Bay and around the country. Earlier this week, she expressed her concerns to the FBI and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
“Diversity is the bedrock of our faithful, generous and hard-working Tampa Bay community. Americans and my neighbors in particular do not accept hate-driven rhetoric or actions. I stand in strong support of our Muslim neighbors after learning of arson at the Daarus Salaam Mosque in Hillsborough County. I also stand in support of others who have been targeted by the rhetoric of intolerance and acts of discrimination like those against many Jewish Community Centers across the country. The safety and security of all of my neighbors are paramount. Many of my colleagues and I have expressed our deep concerns to this Administration and have requested that we come together to work more closely with states, local law enforcement and community groups to address and condemn this uptick. It is important to stand together with our Muslim, Jewish and other neighbors affected by this escalation in the climate of fear and recommit ourselves to solidarity, diversity and understanding.
“I urge President Trump to tone down his bullying rhetoric, tweets and policies that I believe are inflaming mean-spirited elements and causing prejudiced people to act out.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC's) recent annual census, anti-Muslim hate groups almost tripled last year, from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016. The JCCA recently stated that 48 JCCs in 26 states and one Canadian province have received nearly 60 bomb threats during January. Ku Klux Klan groups in the U.S. have distributed white supremacist fliers 117 times in 26 states last year, the SPLC has found. Between November 9, 2016 and December 12, 2016, 1,094 incidents of hate crime and hate incidents were also recorded. In all, the number of hate groups operating in 2016 rose to 917, 25 more than in 2015.