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Moore defends recent comments telling Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to go back to Somalia

The Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee has drawn national headlines for a recent resolution calling on Congress to expel Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota. Omar responded to the ALGOP resolution with a denunciation of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore as a “child molester.” Moore responded back, saying that he supports the resolution and told Omar to go back to Somalia. On Saturday, Moore defended his remarks on social media.

“I have a right to respond, and I did,” Moore said. “It’s a shame that we’ve got people in Congress that don’t even support American values and support Muslim theology, which is directly contrary to the United States Constitution. If they take an oath on the Koran, they take an oath on an instrument that violates religious freedom. They don’t recognize the God who gave religious freedom under our Constitution. And I think that’s a very big criticism of what they’re doing in Congress. They don’t care for religious liberty because their government just violates it.”

Muslim groups have been highly critical of the ALGOP resolution.

On Wednesday, Muslim Advocate’s Eric Naing said in a statement, “In light of tweets today from U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore supporting the AL GOP’s anti-Ilhan Omar resolution and saying that she should “should go back to Somalia from whence she came,” I wanted to send out Muslim Advocates’ statement condemning the clear anti-Muslim bigotry behind the resolution.”

Scott Simpson is the public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates. He condemned the resolution adopted by the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee.

“Having a state political party officially adopt such a hateful, dishonest resolution is a troubling escalation of the ongoing effort to vilify American Muslims,” Simpson said in a statement. “The text of the resolution reads like a laundry list of the most common anti-Muslim stereotypes: that Rep. Omar is un-American and anti-Semitic, that she disrespects the troops, that she is an ungrateful immigrant and that she sympathizes with terrorists. These meritless slurs are constantly hurled at American Muslims in public life in order to silence and discredit them.”

Simpson went on to attack Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville.

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“We saw the same type of anti-Muslim bigotry last week from Rep. Mo Brooks, also of Alabama, who falsely said that Muslims are more likely to be anti-Semitic and warned of ‘the growing influence of the Islamic religion in the Democratic Party ranks,’” Simpson added. “These are not just attacks on Rep. Omar, these are attacks on an entire community. Dishonest smears like these are used against almost every American Muslim who exercises their right to serve their country. They are designed to intimidate them out of public service and tarnish their credibility. They will not work. When American Muslims in public life are attacked because of their faith, Muslim Advocates and countless Americans of conscience will stand up for what’s right.”

The resolution was introduced by State Rep. Tommy Hanes, R-Bryant.

Moore faces a crowded Republican field for the U.S. Senate nomination that includes: Secretary of State John Merrill, businessman Stanley Adair, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, and Congressman Bradley Byrne. ALGOP is hopeful that their nominee can defeat Sen. Doug Jones, the only Democrat holding a statewide elected office in Alabama.

The major party primary is on March 3.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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