by Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington/Fairfax)
Divisive and misleading statements like the one made by the Republican Party of Virginia against the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in the 49th District – and reported on in this Washington Post article – are ugly and not worthy of the Commonwealth.
Opportunity in this country extends to the ability to worship freely – a fundamental right in America. Ignorantly painting all Muslims with the same brush is reprehensible. At its core, this is an attack on the faith and religious freedom of hard-working, patriotic Americans.
The leaders of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center have repeatedly condemned the acts of violence committed by those involved in the September 11th attacks and those associated with al-Qaeda.
Moreover, the Center has worked to foster a spirit of tolerance and cooperation by organizing interfaith community events and service projects with other religious organizations. Regardless of faith, the members of the Center provide rental and financial assistance for individuals in our community who are struggling to make ends meet. They open their doors every week to provide food to people who don’t have enough to eat and host programs to help folks get back on their feet.
These programs enrich the 49th District and our community. The members of the mosque have done a great deal to expand opportunity and help their neighbors build a better future.
The leaders of the Republican Party of Virginia who pushed out this ugly alt-right type of missive should be ashamed.
I hope you will stand with me in supporting the values of tolerance, understanding, and diversity that Virginia was founded upon.