Ted Cruz’s national security adviser Frank Gaffney, a notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, has been urging members of Congress to refuse to meet with participants in today’s National Muslim Advocates Day, where Muslim-Americans around the country went to the U.S. Capitol to meet with their elected representatives and their staff.
And at least one official followed Gaffney’s advice and refused to meet the group: Sen. Ted Cruz.
According to a statement released today by the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, which organized the event, Cruz’s staff snubbed a group of Texas Muslim delegates.
While Cruz’s presidential campaign has made defending religious liberty from government attacks a central theme, that message does not appear to include Muslims.
This evening, representatives of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim groups, will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to condemn the refusal of GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his congressional staff to meet with Muslim constituents during today’s second National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
Some 330 Muslim delegates from 28 states are meeting with a third of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate.
Earlier today, 14 Texas Muslim delegates to the National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill tried to meet with either Sen. Cruz or a member of his congressional staff, but were told no one would meet with them. The delegates had tried to arrange a meeting for several weeks prior to today’s event.
National Muslim Advocacy Day delegates are promoting a legislative agenda in support of equality and social justice, and will outline the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, including:
• Support for House and Senate resolutions recognizing and condemning Islamophobia.
• Support legislation that enables individuals to build a credit history without taking on credit debt.
• Support legislation that promotes greater access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods in impoverished areas.
• Address American Muslim community concerns regarding the oversight, management and approach of federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs.