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ADC Calls on Congressional Leaders to Censure Cong. Steve King

Washington, DC | March 11, 2008 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) calls on Congressional leaders to censure Congressman Steve King (R-IA) for racist comments he made about presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Congressman King is the ranking Republican member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law.
On an Iowa radio station last Saturday, Congressman King said, “if [Obama] is elected president, then the radical Islamists and their supporters will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror.” King continued his Islamophobic commentary by saying, “[Obama’s] middle name does matter…because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world…They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name [and] because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.”
King reiterated his comments yesterday in an interview with the Associated Press saying, “[Obama will] certainly be viewed as a savior for them,” King told The Associated Press, “That’s why you will see them supporting him, encouraging him.”
King‘s comments suggest that Senator Obama is somehow linked with terrorism and that his potential election would be cause for celebration among fanatical extremists. He also raises questions and suspicions about Senator Obama’s middle name Hussein. ADC is deeply troubled by King‘s fear promoting comments which are part of an increasingly vicious pattern noted by ADC. ADC has found that particularly malicious forms of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry are becoming more prevalent in mainstream discourse and King‘s comments are another example.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “King‘s comments reflect the ignorance of a bygone era and exemplify the hatred spewed by fanatics who were rejected by our modern world and who have no place in our nation and in Congress,” Shora said, “We call on Congressional leaders to publicly stand up to the hateful rhetoric advocated by the likes of King. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in Congress must demonstrate their leadership and go on record in censuring Congressman King for his racist stance and for defaming the image of Congress and of our nation. By making these comments King is fanning the flames of hatred and adding fuel to the fire of extremists everywhere.”
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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.