Friday November 11, 2011
In Virginia, a Victory for Ramadan and a Rejection of Fear
Congratulations to David Ramadan, who won his bid for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
David earned tremendous support for his campaign for the 87th District seat, including endorsements from Gov. Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Congressman Frank Wolf, and a host of delegates from around the Commonwealth.
But David was also the victim of vicious attacks –Arab and Muslim-baiting at its worst. James Lafferty, of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force made it his personal mission to attack David at every turn. (It should be noted that Lafferty and VAST also co-sponsor events with Stop Islamicization of America, a group associated with Pam Geller that is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.)
Lafferty and Geller labled David a “Islamic supremacist and Muslim Brotherhood candidate,” in large part because of David’s refusal to condemn the construction of Park 51.
It became a long and ugly fight, with Lafferty and his colleagues starting “Ramadan Watch” to monitor campaign contributions and "radical Islam’s activities in his campaign." He brought Frank Gaffney, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer into the mix, sending a joing letter to Ed Meese demanding that he withdraw his endorsement of Ramadan. And Lafferty was quoted on a national blog saying "We don't think he should be in the House of Delegates in Virginia. We're not even sure he should be allowed to continue to live in the United States."
To the credit of the Commonwealth, what was defeated on Tuesday evening was not David Ramadan’s campaign for the House of Delegates. What was defeated was a campaign of misinformation and malicious rumor-mongering; an Islamophobic campaign of the very type that threatens the values, beliefs, and citizens of our country.
We congratulate David on his victory, not based on his party or his religion or just because he is an Arab American. We congratulate him for having the courage to stand proudly and firmly against the maelstrom of hate that surrounded his campaign, and for showing Virginians and Americans that truth and a belief in real democratic values can be the cornerstone of success. And we thank him, on behalf of millions of Arab Americans, for having the strength and tenacity to see this campaign through to its successful end.blog comments powered by Disqus