update deskU.S. News

Progressive House rep cancels CAIR banquet appearance after backlash

A spokesperson for Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said rhetoric like the group’s speakers “should be condemned, not elevated by political leaders.”

Rep. Summer Lee
Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.). Credit: U.S. House of Representatives Official Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and its progressive “Squad,” has bowed to pressure to not attend an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations featuring individuals who have made antisemitic statements.

On Tuesday, Lee posted, in part, on X: “To prevent the Muslim community from being the target of any more politically motivated Islamophobia and to ensure my Jewish and LGBTQ+ constituents know their concerns are heard, I will not be attending this event any longer.”

Speakers scheduled for the CAIR event had celebrated the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, called Jews “demons” who must “cover their horns” and advocated for Louis Farrakhan, the longtime antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam.

“Governor Shapiro has been very clear that in the face of rising hate speech, leaders have a responsibility to speak and act with moral clarity. The governor believes there is no place in our Commonwealth—founded by William Penn, centered on the values of tolerance—for religious intolerance, whether it be antisemitism or Islamophobia,” Shapiro spokesperson Manuel Bonder told JNS.

“This hateful, antisemitic rhetoric cannot be tolerated, and it should be condemned, not elevated by our political leaders,” he said.

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