By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky called for Muslim and Jewish communities to band together to combat the growing tide of white nationalism in a joint op-ed published Tuesday.
The lawmakers pointed to the April attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California that killed a 60-year-old woman and injured three others, noting the suspect in the attack is also allegedly responsible for arson at a nearby mosque.
"We cannot allow those who seek to divide and intimidate us to succeed. Whatever our differences, our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, must come together to confront the twin evils of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence," the Muslim and Jewish lawmakers wrote.
"As a nation, we cannot afford to be silent on the source of this violence. Far-right terrorists were linked to every single extremist-related murder in 2018 -- the most in any year since 1995," they added, citing data from the Anti-Defamation League.
Omar and Schakowsky lambasted the Trump administration for "manifestly" failing to address the rise of white nationalism, insisting U.S. President Donald Trump "normalized white nationalism" when he said there were "some very fine people" marching with white nationalists in demonstrations that left one counter-protester dead and dozens more injured in Virginia in 2016.
They further alleged the president has upended efforts within the administration to combat white supremacist violence, including Trump's February decision to disband a Homeland Security unit dedicated to combat the threat from domestic terrorism.
"As Americans, we must all stand together in rejecting hate and embracing one another in order to create a country and a culture of unity and justice. White nationalism is on the rise. And we must defeat it -- together," the lawmakers said.