(CHICAGO, IL 8/21/17) — The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) applauds the Illinois State Senate for passing Senate Resolution 0794 which identifies neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups as violent, repressive, xenophobic, and totalitarian, and designates them as terrorist groups. The Resolution, which was introduced by Senator Harmon and approved on Sunday, August 20th, 2017, is an important and necessary step in the dismantling and eradication of white supremacy and its consequent violence which manifests at the individual, local, national, and international level.
The resolution follows the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed at a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia the weekend before. The horrific incidents in Charlottesville illustrated the urgent need for communities to come together to challenge the institutional and individual white supremacy that has existed since the formation of this nation. CAIR-Chicago applauds and welcomes the recent resolution by the Illinois Senate for understanding the very real and imminent threat of white nationalism and the dangers that it has for Illinois’ residents.
“Mainstream media tends to portray ideological violence committed by white suspects as isolated incidents, attributes the cause to a mental disorder, and calls the perpetrator a ‘lone wolf,’ while if the suspect is of Middle Eastern background or Muslim faith, they are automatically designated as terrorists – often before any investigations are conducted.” says Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR-Chicago. “Despite this, white terrorist groups and individuals continue to commit the majority of the violence in this country. It’s time we move beyond double standards and truly stand against terrorism (in all its colors). It’s time to talk about–and confront–this country’s problem of white nationalist terrorism. We applaud Sen Harmon on this initiative and the Illinois Senate for approving this important resolution.”