Attorney General visits mosque; rebukes 'Trumpism'
AG Loretta Lynch: "When one of us is threatened, we all have to speak out,"
ATTORNEY GENERAL Loretta Lynch went to a mosque today (Dec. 12) to address a interfaith audience in Sterling, VA about the wave of Islamaphobic acts this year and in particular since the presidential elections in November. Her speech was a courageous rebuke of the hatred spewing forth from the supporters of the president-elect. Although she did not mention Donald Trump's name, her target was clear to all of those in the audience - Trumpism.
She cited the recently released FBI report that showed a "67 percent increase in hate crimes committed against Muslim/Americans, and the highest total of anti-Muslim incidents since 2001, when 9/11 spurred so many reprehensible acts.
"Regardless of our faith, we believe that we must treat others as we would wish to be treated," she said. "Regardless of our faith, we believe that every individual is precious. Regardless of our faith, we believe in our common humanity, and we believe that, in the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr., 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"
Her visit to All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center was Lynch's first visit to a mosque since she replaced Eric Holder two years ago.
"In recent months, our Civil Rights Division – led by Vanita Gupta, ... – along with our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, " she recounted, "have convicted a Connecticut man for firing a high-powered rifle at a mosque; a Florida man for threatening to firebomb two mosques and shoot their congregants; a Missouri man for the arson of a local mosque; and a North Carolina man who yelled at a woman and ripped off her hijab on an airplane. And in October, our National Security Division and the U.S Attorney’s Office in Kansas charged three men in connection with their plot to detonate bombs at an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, which included a mosque where many members of the local Somali immigrant community gather to pray. These are only a few examples of the Justice Department’s recent prosecutions."
Near her conclusion, Lynch said: "You and I know what the declaration means when it says, 'All men are created equal.' You and I know what the Constitution means when it says, 'We, the people.' "So let us leave here united in our confidence, inspired by our faith and strengthened by our courage. Let us leave here with a renewed commitment to demanding nothing less than a country that is true to its founding promises. And let us leave here in hope – the hope that has brought the United States so far in the last 240 years; the hope that I am confident will carry us even further in the days to come."
She urged the audience that they all have to speak out when they see a hate act committed against their neighbors. "When one of us is threatened, we all have to speak out," she said.