#HummusHaters in Congress
With all the anti-Arab bashing we see in the news every week, Arab America is determined to expose those who discriminate against our community. We will recognize those who vilify the positive influence and contributions Arabs have made to the fabric of American society. And we will use hummus as our weapon. By naming those who vilify the Arab American community as #HummusHaters, we can express our culture positively while showing intolerance to bigotry.
Compiled by Arab America
Congress is composed of 535 members, 435 in the House and 100 in the Senate who are tasked with representing the American people. Despite the fact that Arab Americans now make up a population of more than 3.6 million in the U.S., Arab Americans and Muslims have routinely been left out of the political process, and even attacked by members of Congress.
Furthermore, Arab Americans continue to be subjected to harassment and false accusations by members of Congress because many are under the impression that all Arabs are inherently criminal. These disastrous ideas from elected officials threaten the safety of Arab Americans and damage the community.
This behavior has escalated recently with the rise in ISIL attacks, and the attackers being of Arab or Muslim descent, or both. Even though Americans are more likely to die from violent crimes committed by non-Arabs and non-Muslims, the Arab world is being used as a tool to perpetuate fear and gain votes from the ignorant, or those unwilling to accept the truth about their security.
Furthermore, as the refugee crisis continues, many of these congressmen have spoken about offering humanity to only Christian Arabs affected by war, proving that they are choosing to be discriminatory in helping those in need.
It is times like these that some of the most bigoted, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic comments arise, often out of pure obliviousness and hate from some of the most important people in society. Let’s take a look at some of these Congressional Hummus Haters.
1. Representative Peter King (R-New York)
Rep. Peter King of New York recently called for heavy surveillance of Muslim communities and spoke of how Muslims need to be watched “more carefully.” His bigoted comments even included the outrageous idea that everyone in the Muslim community “wants to kill us.”
King stated that the “threat” is coming from Muslims, and said that members of the community need to “step forward.” He continued his awful comments by saying that he wasn’t being “discriminatory” because he knows the “threat” comes from the Muslim community.
2. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Alabama)
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) recently demonstrated his Islamophobic thoughts when he claimed that Muslims “want to kill every homosexual in the U.S.” in response to the Orlando shooting. He was invited to an Iftar dinner to help change his mind about American Muslims, but rudely rejected the offer.
3. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Ted Cruz is a well-known Hummus Hater from his numerous comments directed against Arabs. In April, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) refused to meet with Muslims visiting the Capitol for National Muslim Advocacy Day and has made past comments during his presidential run that law enforcement should monitor and target “Muslim neighborhoods” in the U.S. in order to prevent ISIL-related attacks.
During his presidential campaign, he repeated on several occasions that Arab refugees should be banned from the country, and spearheaded attempts to ban all Syrians from coming to the U.S.
Lastly, in 2014, Cruz addressed a crowd of Arab Christians and spoke against Arab countries, saying that they should support the “Jewish state” and stand with Israel or he would not “stand” with them. The audience booed him and his ignorance until he walked off stage.
4. Representative Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina)
Recently, after the Nice attack, Congressman Jeff Duncan called on halting all Syrian refugee resettlement and stopping all immigration “indefinitely” from countries with terrorism “hotbeds.” This is all despite the fact that the Nice attacker was a French citizen.
5. Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas)
Texas Congressman Joe Barton offered up suggestions on how he wanted to stop the flow of “dangerous Syrian refugees” into the country. He sided with Republican Governor Greg Abbott in wanting Texas to close its borders to Syrian refugees, despite both the governor and the congressman not having the authority to say so.
6. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu in Congress, stated that it is important to focus on ISIL’s “Islamic ideology” and criticized Obama for not stating what the real “enemy” was, referring to “radical Islam.” In the past, she has aligned herself with an Islamophobic Hindu Nationalist Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has a history of encouraging violence against Muslims in India.
7. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa)
Rep. Steve King from Iowa had some very Islamophobic comments against his fellow congressman, Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress. When asked about Ellison, King said he doesn’t think Ellison could uphold the Constitution, stating that he needs to “renounce Sharia Law” or else can’t uphold his oath. This bigoted statement came despite the reality that Ellison is just an average, abiding American Muslim looking to serve his country, not a crusader for Wahhabism.
Regardless of the incredible contributions in astronomy, chemistry, medicine, algebra, and education that Arabs gave this world, particularly the West, Steve King has dismissed all of these contributions by stating that “white people” are the only ones who have contributed to Western civilization. Human civilization even first arose in Mesopotamia, which is now Syria and Iraq. Steve King can give thanks to Arabs for numbers, the toothbrush, the guitar, hospitals, and much more.
8. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Rep. Gohmert has a history of awful comments towards Muslims and has even stated in the past “Islam is evil.” At one point he discussed how Muslims were “giving birth” to future terrorists in the United States that would grow up to “destroy our way of life.”
Earlier this year, Gohmert decided to rant about his stance against Palestinians and spewed hatred-filled lies, claiming Palestinians want to kill all of the “children of Israel.” He also asserted that anyone who believes in God and the Bible should be against the Palestinians and in favor of the Jewish state.
9. Representative Trent Franks (R-Arizona)
Rep. Trent Franks from Arizona, who is a friend of Gohmer, has not shied away from sharing his thoughts on Islam. He has spoken out against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), saying he thought that CAIR was trying to “plant spies” in Congress. At a conference, Franks regarded Islam as the “enemy of freedom.” And when Senator Ted Cruz proposed patrolling Muslim neighborhoods, Franks refused to condemn it, showing his support for the outlandish proposal.
Franks additionally made remarks against Palestinian while speaking against the two-state solution and the Obama Administration for coming out against the Israeli settlements in 2011. He stated that the settlements that were placed on Palestinian lands belong to Israel, suggesting the Palestinians have no place. Franks also stated that it was wrong for Palestine to apply for statehood, saying it would pose a threat to Israel.
10. Representative Randy Weber (R-Texas)
Rep. Randy Weber has not shied away from sharing his anti-Arab feelings. He recently had an interview with Breitbart News in which he targeted Syrian-born refugees and stated that they should be vetted out of being allowed into the country. He also raised his hand in strong support of banning people from countries with high Muslim populations.
11. Representative Jody Hice (R-Georgia)
Rep. Jody Hice had some of the most ignorant comments regarding Arabs and Muslims when he stated that Muslims don’t “deserve First Amendment protection” and talked about how Arabs and Muslims are “infiltrating” the United States to “impose sharia law” on everyone in the country. He went on to say that Islam is not a religion, and that U.S. law shouldn’t protect its believers.
12. Representative Brian Babin (R-Texas)
Rep. Brian Babin earns a spot as a Congressional “Hummus hater” for his comments in 2015 when he said the U.S. needed to do more to accept Christian refugees. Rabin believes that Christians are the “most persecuted religious minority” in the world. He thinks that Christians from the Arab world should be given priority as far as taking in refugees and that Muslims should not be allowed in because he believes they give way to terrorism.
13. Representative Mike McCaul (R-Texas)
Rep. Mike McCaul has worked alongside Congressman Peter King in trying to target Muslims in the United States. At one of the hearings that Rep. King led, which focused on American Muslims, McCaul said that the U.S. needs to look at the “correlation between Islam and national security.” He is also known to associate with Frank Gaffney, who has spread heaps of nonsense about Arab Americans and Muslims.
14. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
Senator Jeff Sessions has happily joined in on Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding grilling Syrian refugees and other Arab refugees. Sessions believes all refugees from the Arab world need to renounce “sharia law,” and he went so far as to talk about the “toxic ideology of Islam.” He agreed with Trump’s Islamophobic statements that there should be a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.
15. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
In 2013, Senator Rand Paul earned a top spot on the list of “Hummus Haters” after a speech he delivered in which he described a “worldwide war” on Christianity that he attributed to Islam and Muslims. He delivered lies claiming that 100 million Muslims were actively being violent against Christians. More recently, he has called for halting all immigration from the Middle East and Arab countries, saying that the U.S. should not admit people to the country who are trying to “attack and kill.”