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(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/8/2017) -- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today congratulated Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel for their victories in the Edison school board election, and Ravi Bhalla, for his victory in the Hoboken mayoral race -- all of whom had been the victims of racist smear campaigns.
“The New Jersey voting public has spoken and has resoundingly said that they will not be influenced by divisive, racist smear tactics,” said James Sues, executive director of CAIR-NJ. “Despite the fear-mongering and bigotry that characterizes the current political climate at the national level, the citizens of New Jersey have demonstrated that we are a welcoming community.”
On November 2, CAIR NJ decried the distribution of a racist mailer that had the heading “Make Edison Great Again,” and declared “The Chinese and Indians are Taking over our Town”. The mailer was an effort to sway voters in the school board election in Edison, N.J., where one candidate, Falguni Patel, is of Indian descent and another Jerry Shi, is of Chinese descent. That mailer displayed pictures of the candidates with mock immigration stamps declaring “Deport” overlapping them.
On November 5, CAIR NJ decried the distribution of a racist flyer with the heading “Don’t let Terrorism Take Over Our Town,” with the picture of Sikh mayoral candidate, Ravi Bhalla. Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/5/2017) -- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried the distribution of a racist flyer with the heading “Don’t let Terrorism Take Over Our Town,” with the picture of Sikh mayoral candidate, Ravi Bhalla.
The flyer which was distributed on car windshields in Hoboken, NJ is an apparent effort to sway voters in an upcoming Mayoral election there. The distribution of this flyer comes just 2 days after a racist postcard was mailed to voters in Edison, NJ targeting Asian School Board candidates with the slogan “Make Edison Great Again”.
"This is the second time we’ve seen this kind of divisive campaign rhetoric in this election cycle here in New Jersey.”, said James Sues, executive director of CAIR-NJ. “The repugnant racist tactics represented in these campaign materials do a disservice to the welcoming community that New Jersey truly is. This is just a painful reminder of the extreme divisiveness that characterizes current political climate at the national level.”
[NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]
SEE: Fliers attack Sikh mayoral candidate, portraying him as a terrorist
SEE: Racist 'Make Edison Great Again' mailer targets Asian school board candidates
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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