Target: Founder and Chairman of the Original Phoenix Tea Party Wes Harris
Goal: Protest Harris’ ignorant and intolerant words about the Muslim community
“Have you ever read the Quran? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact.”
These are the words of Wes Harris, founder and chairman of the Original Phoenix Tea Party in the state of Arizona. It seems impossible that such ignorant, intolerant rhetoric is being thrown around in this manner. But in an interview with the Arizona Capital Times, Harris seems to have no problem perpetuating intolerant language and spreading false accusations against a Muslim woman, and the Muslim community at large. As fellow human beings, we should be offended by these words.
The Muslim woman, Huma Abedin, works with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was groundlessly accused of having ties to extremist group the Muslim Brotherhood. In her defense, Sen. John McCain spoke out, calling these accusations against Abedin, “nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant.” McCain continued, “These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.”
While Sen. McCain’s defense of Huma was an honorable move, it struck a chord with Wes Harris, who has set plans in motion to remove Sen. McCain from his seat on the Senate. According to the Arizona Capital Times, Harris plans to launch recall petitions against Sen. McCain. In reaction to McCain’s words, Harris said, “We must find a way to get rid of this embarrassment.”
In more hateful commentary, Harris told the Arizona Capital Times, “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. If they are Muslim they have to follow the Quran. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.” Harris went on to contest that Muslims should not be allowed to work for the government or State Department. About Abedin, Harris went on to say,“Is she a Muslim? Is she an active Muslim? I rest my case. That’s all she needs to be.”
It is inflammatory remarks like Harris’ that are alienating the Muslim population in America. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy—an organization that opposes Islamic extremists—says Harris’ comments are “misguided, ignorant and dangerous.” Jasser explained that there is no fundamental conflict between Islamic values and American values, and there is a difference between being a religious Muslim and being a political Islamic extremist. “A Muslim is anybody that follows and adheres to the faith of Islam. An Islamist is a supremacist that believes the state should be guided by a particular interpretation of Islam.” To confuse being a Muslim with being an Islamist—as Harris did—Jaffer called an “extremely dangerous” mistake.
Wes Harris must be held accountable for his inaccurate, hate-ridden comments. There is no room for such bullying and chest-thumping. Sign below to convey to Harris how isolated he is in his ignorant opinions and to protest his ill-conceived plans.
Dear Wes Harris,
Your recent comments to the Arizona Capital Times regarding Huma Abedin and the Muslim community are deeply offensive and demonstrate a lack of understanding about the Muslim faith and beliefs.
When you stated, “anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” it showed your ignorance about the basic principles of the Islam faith, and that you do not understand the difference between the Muslim—the religious follower—and the Islamist—the political extremist. They are not one in the same as you have failed to recognize.
According to Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, “A Muslim is anybody that follows and adheres to the faith of Islam. An Islamist is a supremacist that believes the state should be guided by a particular interpretation of Islam.” In essence, Muslim ideals and values are not inherently at odds with American ideals and values.
In addition to these hateful comments about the Muslim community at large, you have aided in perpetuating false accusations against Huma Abedin. Before you make any baseless attacks against others, it would be in both your and their best interest to first check the facts.
[Your Name Here]