Southtown Star: Frankfort Township assessor forwards anti-Muslim e-mail

An e-mail sent by Frankfort Township assessor Paul Ruff to many in the Frankfort/Mokena area is filled with anti-Muslim sentiments.

The e-mail, circulated in June, said America should follow the lead of Australia’s former prime minister John Howard, who said Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia.

“Once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, the right to leave,” the e-mail said, supposedly quoting Howard.

The e-mail actually was based on a column by Georgia state lawmaker Barry Loudermilk.

“Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the back bone to start speaking and voicing the same truths,” the e-mail continued. “If you agree, please send this on.”

Numerous calls to Ruff to discuss the e-mail were not returned.

“Unfortunately, the politics of fear-mongering continue to be a reality in the (United States), and the Muslims are at the losing end of this really hateful attitude,” said¬†Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Chicago. “We have seen this from presidential candidates to local candidates. The only way to end it is if Americans of all backgrounds speak out against it, whether it is anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic or anti-black.”

One recipient, who wanted to remain anonymous, found the e-mail “offensive,” but was not aware of any others who objected to it.

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