Hoehn’s remarks are all too familiar attempts to spread hate and lies about Muslims and their faith. Hoehn, an attorney and executive director of the Washington D.C.-based Alliance for Vigilance, relies on fear tactics and hearsay rather than facts about Islam to spread an agenda rooted in bigotry.
Hoehn, like others in the ever-growing anti-Muslim industry, seems incapable of distinguishing between terrorism and Islam. As Saad Mohammed, a board member of the Oklahoma City chapter for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, pointed out, the vast majority of Muslims are just as opposed to terrorism as the rest of us. Indeed, CAIR Oklahoma provides a 68-page document detailing the persistent denunciation of terrorism by Muslim groups.
American Muslims continue to condemn terror activities each time such a tragedy occurs. It is absurd to imply, as Hoehn’s organization does, that Muslims must choose between being faithful to Islam and being faithful to America. The two are not mutually exclusive, as Muslims all over this country demonstrate daily.
I know Muslims who are more enthusiastic about the Thunder than I could ever be, and I can always count on a particular Muslim friend of mine to stand in line with me for the midnight showing of Harry Potter.
Oklahomans would do well to ignore Hoehn’s deceitful and intolerant rhetoric. Instead, why not visit a local mosque and learn firsthand what it means to be a Muslim in America?
You’ll be warmly welcomed with that Oklahoma hospitality we all know and love.
Shinn is outreach coordinator of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.