Target: Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association
Goal: Repudiate claims that Muslim Americans have set up thousands of independently-governed outposts around the United States.
American Muslims have taken over control of thousands of American cities and are governing them through Sharia law, according to a speech given by author Steve Tarani at an NRA convention. This is a common myth cited by Islamophobes that has been disproven time and time again. Demand that the NRA publicly denounce this lie and acknowledge that no such areas exist.
During an hour-long presentation he was giving to a large crowd of NRA members at the organization’s annual national meeting, Tarani laid out what he thinks are the threats that Americans are facing every day. Among these threats were alleged “Islamic no-go zones.”
According to Tarani, Muslims across the United States have seized control of neighborhoods, towns, and cities and established their own governments independent from American systems. He contends that they are governed by Sharia law, and that police are not allowed within its boundaries under the threat of violence.
Claims of these “no-go zones” have been put forward dozens of times by right-wing politicians, racist commentators, and Fox News personalities, and have been disproven every single time. Tarani’s claims are nothing but attempts to stoke fear over an already marginalized minority. Demand that the NRA take responsibility for the content of Tarani’s speech and publicly repudiate his claim that “no-go zones” exist and are a threat to Americans everywhere.
Dear Executive Vice President LaPierre,
I am writing you today regarding the claims of one of the speakers your organization hosted at its recent annual meeting. I am referring to Steve Tarani and his propagation of the myth that “Islamic no-go zones” exist in the United States.
To be plain, these areas do not exist. Dearborn, Michigan, the “no-go zone” that Tarani said he witnessed in person with his own two eyes, is still controlled by local, state, and national American governments. Jack O’Reilly is still the mayor. There has been no coup and no establishment of an independent theocracy. You can go there yourself and see.
Claims like Tarani’s are nothing but lies, and politically-motivated lies at that. There’s no doubt that Tarani was merely picking on an already illegitimately feared and hated minority in an attempt to rally the NRA members he was speaking to at your event.
You must take responsibility for the content of the speakers you host, especially when that content includes blatant falsehoods. The myth of “Islamic no-go zones” is a lie that demonizes Muslim Americans and puts them at immediate risk of harassment and violence—you and your organization have a moral responsibility to denounce it generally and Tarani’s discussion of it specifically. I demand that you publicly repudiate Tarani’s fearmongering on behalf of the NRA and make it clear that your organization understands that no-go zones do not exist.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons