Following Trump’s racist tweets, Rep. Jennifer Wexton visits Northern Va. mosques

Virginia

"When the highest office in the land is spouting this xenophobic and racist rhetoric, it trickles down and emboldens people."

VIENNA, Va. (WDVM) — Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton visited two mosques Friday to hear from Muslim residents concerned about President Donald Trump’s racist remarks about four American representatives.

In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump suggested freshmen Congresswomen Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib “go back and fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”

All but one of those congresswomen were born outside the United States. Somali-born and Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is an American citizen.

When brought up at a Trump rally in North Carolina, the crowd chanted, “Send her back.”

“I’ve been told to go back to where I came from more times than I can remember,” said Hassan Ahmad, immigration lawyer and Muslim who attends the McLean Islamic Center. “I’m from North Carolina. When the highest office in the land is spouting this xenophobic and racist rhetoric, it trickles down and emboldens people. It lets people think that it’s OK to say this to people of color, and it’s not.”

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to condemn the president’s tweets. “I will not rest as your member of Congress, or just as a citizen of this country who really respects diversity and everything it brings us, until you feel every bit as welcome as you have always made me feel in your community,” said Wexton at Friday’s prayer at the McLean Islamic Center.

“I have visited with this community many times over the years, and heard the Friday prayers, and heard the imam speak of compassion and charity and good works,” said Wexton. “And I’ve seen them live by those values every day. So I wanted them to know as an ambassador of this community that they knew I was there behind them.”

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