In the early morning hours of January 28, 2017, a fire broke out in the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas. It quickly destroyed the whole building. The cause has not officially been determined.
Two weeks ago, another mosque, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis, in Austin, Texas, burned. Again, the cause of the fire has not been officially determined.
Both mosques have previously been vandalized. And the mosque in Victoria was burglarized last week.
Regardless of the causes of these fires, the Libertarian Party extends sympathy to the Muslim communities in these towns and across America.
As one member of the mosque in Austin, Texas, said, “We are all just praying it wasn’t a hate crime.”
Indeed. The Libertarian Party hopes that these fires were caused by some innocent accident. But the fact that our Muslim brothers and sisters even have to worry about hate crimes perpetrated against them or their buildings of worship is a sad statement on current affairs in America.
New executive orders have barred entry of people from 7 countries that are mostly Muslim. We’ve heard talk of registries for Muslim Americans. And we’ve heard a lot of nasty rhetoric from the President and others. Muslim Americans have every reason to feel uncomfortable. And their concern should be the concern of every American.
Libertarian Party Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, “America was founded on freedom, including and perhaps especially freedom of religion. It is central to who we are as Americans and it is values such as this that make our country great. When we lose sight of these values, our country ceases to be great.”
He continues, “There are two real threats here: One is the infringement on people’s rights to live and worship as they see fit. The other is the complacency that some Americans have about it.”
The Libertarian Party calls on all Americans not to be complacent when the rights of one group, any group, are infringed. Sarwark says, “When we allow one group’s rights to be degraded, we are degrading the human rights of all of us, and degrading our country.”
Today and everyday, the Libertarian Party stands for the rights of all people, all the time.
Today and everyday, the Libertarian Party says to our Muslim brothers and sisters, we are with you. We have your back. We’ll do our best to speak out and amplify your voice. We hope and pray that a registry is never created. But if one is, we will oppose it vigorously and you can rest assured that many of our members will register themselves in protest. We will speak out against travel and immigration bans. We will speak out loudly against any and all acts of violence or destruction that may be committed against you. When your rights and humanity are infringed upon, we stand with you.