Target: Texas Governor Rick Perry
Goal: Don’t legitimize Islamophobia by attending retreat hosted by bigot
Texas Governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry is planning to attend an event hosted by a noted fringe conservative and Islamophobe. As the guest with the highest national profile, Governor Perry’s attendance serves to do nothing but legitimize the Islamophobia the event advocates. Ask Governor Perry to cancel his plans to attend the event.
Governor Perry is slated to attend a weekend retreat hosted by David Horowitz later in November. David Horowitz is an editor for the right wing website FrontPageMag.com and founder of the conservative think tank the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and hosts these “Restoration Weekend” retreats annually. Horowitz has a history of blatant and proud Islamophobia, accusing Hillary Clinton’s former righthand woman Huma Abedin as being a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative sent to infiltrate America’s government; accusing anti-tax advocate Grover Nordquist, who is married to a Muslim, of being a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative sent to infiltrate the Republican Party; and accusing teachers’ unions of pushing a “radical Islamic Jihadist” doctrine in public schools. Each year his retreat attracts scores of other prominent Islamophobes, including Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders, who are invited to give talks about the dangers posed to the United States and Western democracies by Islam.
This event, then, is nothing but a rally of fringe Islamophobia and bigotry. Sign below to help urge Governor Perry not to legitimize the views of Horowitz and his other guests by attending the retreat.
Dear Governor Perry,
I am writing you today because of your decision to attend David Horowitz’s “Restoration Weekend” retreat from November 13th to 16th. David Horowitz is a vocal bigot against Muslims and this event, in the past, has been nothing but a place to showcase his and others’ Islamophobic views. I urge you to change your plans and not go to the retreat.
David Horowitz has accused prominent political figures on either side of the aisle of being covert Muslim Brotherhood operatives sent to infiltrate the American political system based solely on their being Muslims or being close to Muslims, and thinks that public schools in the United States are becoming a hotbed for jihadist indoctrination. Additionally, in the past these retreats have included such prominent and extreme Islamophobes as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders, the latter two of which will be attending once again this year with you if you carry on with your plans to attend. They will no doubt be given a platform from which to advocate that Obama is a secret Muslim or that Islam is an existential threat to “the West,” as they have in the past.
You are, bar none, the most prominent national figure scheduled to attend this retreat–doing so will only lend credibility to these bigots and legitimize their problematic opinions. I am asking you to reconsider your attendance. Please don’t legitimize this man and his bigotry, and the bigotry of his guests. Take a stand against the culture of Islamophobia they perpetuate and don’t go to the retreat.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr