Anti-hate res­o­lu­tion pro­claims sol­i­dar­ity

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

Ul­ster County law­mak­ers are ex­pected to vote this evening on a res­o­lu­tion that ex­presses their sol­i­dar­ity with “Mus­lims and all those tar­geted” with hate speech based on eth­nic­ity, race or re­li­gion.

The res­o­lu­tion was dis­cussed dur­ing a Demo­cratic cau­cus of leg­is­la­tors last week at which some mem­bers asked why Mus­lims were sin­gled out in the word­ing.

“We all know what’s hap­pen­ing in the coun­try,” said Leg­is­la­tor Hec­tor Ro­driguez, D-New Paltz. “There are some peo­ple be­ing tar­geted. That’s the re­al­ity of it.”

The res­o­lu­tion notes there about 1,500 Mus­lims liv­ing in Ul­ster County among the more than 3 mil­lion na­tion­wide.

“We are sad­dened and out­raged at the re­cent es­ca­la­tion of hate­ful rhetoric against Mus­lims, those per­ceived to be Mus­lims, im­mi­grants and all peo­ple of color, and we are par­tic­u­lar concerned to see po­lit­i­cal fig­ures and elected gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials lead­ing this es­ca­la­tion and us­ing it in order to gain power,” the res­o­lu­tion states. “In the face of ex­treme big­otry and vi­o­lence, Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties and their lead­ers are us­ing the lan­guage and teach­ings of Is­lam to pro­mote peace and jus­tice and ser­vice, and their in­sti­tu­tions are con­tin­u­ing to play an es­sen­tial so­ci­etal role pro­vid­ing char­i­ta­ble and hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vices to whose in need.”

The res­o­lu­tion does not men­tion Don­ald Trump by name, but Ro­driguez said: “We have a pres­i­dent-elect who’s plan­ning on de­port­ing ‘cer­tain’ peo­ple. It’s not good, it’s re­ally not. These things have ac­tu­ally gone from ... bad to worse.”

Trump last year called for a tem­po­rary ban on al­low­ing Mus­lims to im­mi­grate into the U.S. He also sug­gested cre­at­ing a reg­istry of Mus­lims al­ready liv­ing here, but his in­com­ing White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sun­day on NBC’s “Meet the Press that “we’re not go­ing to have a reg­istry based on a re­li­gion.”

Trump has not pro­posed de­port­ing law-abid­ing Mus­lims who are liv­ing in the United States legally.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice re­cently re­ported that hate crimes in the U.S. specif­i­cally tar­get­ing Mus­lims rose by 67 per­cent in 2015, ac­cord­ing to The Associated Press.

Ul­ster County Leg­is­la­tor David Donaldson said it’s im­por­tant to rec­og­nize that spe­cific groups of peo­ple can be tar­geted for prob­lems they have no con­trol over.

“A lot of peo­ple get con­fused when they talk about Black Lives Mat­ter; they go, ‘all lives mat­ter,’” said Donaldson, D-Kingston. “Yes, all lives mat­ter, but that’s not the point . ... I sup­port vet­er­ans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t sup­port any­body else.”


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