Press Releases

Civil Rights Champion John Lewis Becomes 125th Cosponsor of Beyer-Honda Legislation To Condemn Anti-Muslim Bigotry

f t # e
Washington, February 4, 2016 | Thomas Scanlon (202 225 4376) | comments
This week Civil Rights champion Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) became the 125th cosponsor to anti-Islamophobia legislation authored by Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Honda (D-CA). The bill, House Resolution 569, which condemns violence and hateful rhetoric against Muslims in the United States, now has 127 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Congressmen Beyer and Honda enthusiastically welcomed Congressman Lewis’ support.
share: f t

This week Civil Rights champion Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) became the 125th cosponsor to anti-Islamophobia legislation authored by Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) and Mike Honda (D-CA). The bill, House Resolution 569, which condemns violence and hateful rhetoric against Muslims in the United States, now has 127 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Congressmen Beyer and Honda enthusiastically welcomed Congressman Lewis’ support.

“From the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to the Freedom Riders, from the March on Washington to the March from Selma and down through the years since, John Lewis has spent his life standing up against oppression and bigotry. I am thrilled that he is joining us in this fight,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Representative Lewis knows perhaps better than anyone how dehumanizing people on the basis of race or religion leads to destructive violence. The weight of his experience cannot be ignored, and the thunder of his voice will send an inescapable message that attacks on American Muslims are not what we stand for as a nation.”

“It is so strange to me that we have learned to fly in the air like birds, swim in the ocean like fish, and even shoot a rocket to the moon, but we still have not learned how to live together as brothers and sisters on this little planet we call our home,” said Rep. John Lewis. “The truth is that we are all immigrants, as Pope Francis said when he addressed a joint session of Congress.  We all came from somewhere, and the promise of this nation is an affirmation of the union of all mankind, regardless of race, religion, nationality or class.  The dean of the Civil Rights Movement, A. Philip Randolph used to put it this way, ‘We all may have come here on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”  Hate is not the answer to any problem, but instead is the very root of most of our difficulties as a human community.   The day we accept that love is the ultimate resolution to all the struggles of humanity will be the dawn of our liberation as a nation and as a world community.”

The Representatives also expressed pride in President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore the previous day to express solidarity with Muslim Americans. The President’s trip to the Islamic Society of Baltimore represents the first time he has visited a mosque during his presidency, and follows Obama’s speech to the Israeli Embassy warning of the rise of anti-Semitism in the world in the first address to that Embassy by a sitting President. 

Reps. Beyer and Honda, with original co-sponsors Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and André Carson (D-IN) introduced H. Res. 569 in December after a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry and acts of hatred in the United States. Many of these attacks are under current investigation by the FBI.

 

f t # e