Elaine Brower's Speech at the Peter King Opposition Rally

Elaine Brower
Delivered at the NYC Rally on March 6:

Asalam Alaikum, peace, sisters and brothers. I stand here before you today as an Italian American Muslim, in solidarity and with respect for all communities of faith, and those who simply believe it is a basic human right to live in peace and with justice. I not only represent a broad coalition which formed to denounce Islamophobia, and I am not only a mother of a US Marine who thought he was being patriotic by joining the military only to be destroyed psychologically and emotionally, but most importantly I stand here as a human being who cares about the future of humanity and this planet.

We are witnesses to not only historic global events that have enlightened and amazed us but we have also entered very dark times evoking fear. The targeting of our Muslim and Arab communities across this country as well as in the Middle East, is unforgiveable, disgusting and reprehensible. How an elected congressional representative can possibly justify such a witch-hunt is beyond anyone's imagination. History has shown us the horrors of the constant vilification of one group of people. Today Muslims, tomorrow who knows? As stated by Frederick Douglass, "They divided both to conquer each."

What Peter King is doing is throwing gasoline on an already existing fire that has been smoldering for the past 10 years. These hearings are nothing by a pretense and catalyst to continue the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and justify the increased drone bombings on other sovereign nations killing too many innocent people in the name of national security. By legitimizing the targeting of Muslims, this committee will only embolden the nationalistic flag-waving crackpots who have nothing better to do than hate, threaten and keep fearmongering alive in order to continue U.S. empire and corporate greed.

I denounce these continued attacks and will do everything in my power to stand out in front in this battle. Phrases that we have used over the years announcing solidarity against the oppression of any people speak to us today: "United we stand, divided we fall! A people united will never be defeated! An injustice to one is an injustice to all! Those of us here and millions everywhere join forces to say we are all Muslims not just today, but everyday. And we won't back down.