I saw this online and thought I would share it with my readers. The following statement from Ainy Haider-Shah (President of the Howard County Muslim Council) was posted on Facebook:
As a Muslim and the President of the Howard County Muslim Council, I was deeply disturbed to see the flyer that David Yungmann, candidate for District 5 in Howard County, had recently mailed to voters.
I understand that it is election season and it is important for the electorate to vote. However, the use of the line “Led opposition to huge school/mosque in rural west” on Mr. Yungmann’s campaign literature is an indisputable dog whistle, silently signaling to voters his opposition to Muslims and the Muslim community.
It is important to note that Mr. Yungmann could have easily left out the word ‘mosque,’ or chosen a different word altogether. We’ve seen what happens when open hatred of a minority group is not challenged and condemned – it grows and festers until people get hurt. This type of disgusting rhetoric has no place in our county.
I’d also like to make it very clear that the use of the land is a moot point at this time, as it has been purchased by another religious group and since been developed. I’ve seen Mr. Yungmann’s deflective statements on this topic – this is not the issue that we are most concerned about.
I call on Allan Kittleman and the Howard County Republican Party to condemn the use of this tactic to rile up anti-Muslim sentiments, to apologize to the Muslim community, and to root out the islamophobia that appears to run rampant in the party.
I would be happy to meet with Mr. Yungmann to discuss this matter in person.
Howard County Muslim Council
On October 12th, I wrote an article: David Yungmann responds to posts about mailer outlining what had been posted on social media and other blogs as well as a response from David Yungmann about the mailer and the comments up to that point.
Since my previous article, Blogger Jason Booms (Spartan Considerations) wrote a follow up article: A Reply to David Yungmann.
I reached out to Ainy Haider-Shah (via Facebook) and we were able to chat on the phone for a little bit…this is the follow up statement she forwarded me:
As residents of Howard County, we’re all trying to make our county a better place to live. Members of our county who actively attempt to divide us undermine these efforts to build community, which are particularly important in the current political climate.
It is disappointing that a candidate running for office must again be reminded that Muslims are not a monolithic group but represent all types of people in our county. We have Muslims of all races and political affiliations here in Howard County. Indeed, several Muslim Republicans have reached out to register their dismay over David Yungmann’s campaign literature.
This type of rhetoric seemed chosen for a specific purpose: to rally people who harbor anti-Muslim sentiments. The phrase used would not have been chosen if Mr. Yungmann did not think it would be an effective strategy.
The Muslim community would expect condemnation of this rhetoric to come from the top, from County Executive Allan Kittleman on down, to show that the leaders of the Republican Party do not condone this type of political messaging.
The Muslim community as a whole deserves an apology, but especially the Republican Muslims who have stood by their party only to now question how their compatriots may feel behind closed doors.
Those who are behind this campaign must stop deflecting and should instead seek to understand why this rhetoric is hurtful. Let’s not divide our community by stirring up resentments for political gain.
Howard County Muslim
It would be great if Ainy and David do meet to discuss this issue. I think that would be helpful for everyone watching this play out online (just my 2 cents).
Article update 10/15/18: The following messages were captured from the HCMC Facebook page: