Maligning of SF Sikh leader condemned

Harmeet Dhillon
Harmeet Dhillon

LOS ANGELES: The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) repudiated the bigoted attempt of a San Bernardino County Republican club leader to smear a fellow party member because of her perceived religion.
Vera Eyzendooren, president of the San Bernardino County Federation of Republican Women, posted a Facebook comment accusing San Francisco attorney Harmeet Dhillon of being a terrorist sympathizer. The comment was made the week preceding the California Republican Party elections, in which Dhillon ran for, and eventually won, the vice chairwoman seat.
Dhillon, a Sikh emigrant from India, previously chaired the San Francisco Republican party.
California Republican leaders quickly denounced Eyzendooren’s comments. Tom Del Beccaro, Bob Huff and Connie Conway sent out a joint statement: “Blatant racism has no place in the party of Lincoln. We strongly denounce this hateful speech in this and any other venue.”
In a statement, CAIR-LA said:
“We support the First Amendment right of anyone to voice their concerns, dissent, and even hatred. However, when our nation’s foundational values of inclusiveness, pluralism and equality are attacked by some in favor of calls for advocating hate and intolerance, then all Americans have a responsibility to challenge and expose such bigotry and those who enable it.”
“We commend those elected officials that have already spoken against this Eyzendooren’s imprudent and demeaning rhetoric. There is a need for civility in political discourse; we need discussions about substance and ideas that will move our communities forward, not those based upon bigotry and xeonphobia.”
“The rapidly-changing demographics of American cities means the face of political participation is also changing. There is an urgent need to marginalize those who seek to dominate public discourse with hateful and intolerant rhetoric.”
“We strongly urge all elected officials to distance themselves from such an exhibition of bigotry. We further ask residents and the party’s elected officials to speak out against such hateful rhetoric and the continued Islamophobia that plagues our nation.”

India Post News Service

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