City Council supports Muslim community on Super Tuesday
Resolution aimed at countering 'anti-Muslim rhetoric' and 'hate violence'
On a night when Donald Trump was solidifying his bid to become the Republican presidential nominee, the Beaverton City Council distanced itself from some of the blunt candidate's statements that many have interpreted as broadly anti-Muslim.
The Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to support a resolution from its Diversity Advisory Board to declare support for the Muslim community and reaffirm its status as a "Welcoming City."
The resolution noted that "anti-Muslim rhetoric has increased in the national discourses and rates of hate violence targeting Muslim families and children are at record highs across our nation...."
Such rhetoric is closely associated with the vociferous Trump's campaign as he and others have expressed support for a blanket ban on Muslims immigrating to America, following terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere tied to extremist groups.
But Council member Cate Arnold said that painting all Muslims with a brush tainted by groups like the self-proclaimed Islamic State is no different than allowing the Ku Klux Klan to define Christianity.
The latter reference also may have struck a chord with some after Trump recently drew criticism from politic opponents and many others for his response to an endorsement from white supremacist David Duke.
"We all should be united ... as one community against hate," said Nael Saker, a member of the city's DAB whose family is from Palestine.
Jamal Tarhuni, a former Beaverton resident who now lives in Tigard, said he was "greatly proud" of the city for taking a stand.
"This community was built upon 'justice for all,'" said Tarhuni, a native of Libya. "It's a melting pot."
Tarhuni said Muslim Americans "have chosen to be part of this community" and are active in business and civic life here.
Ned Rosche, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace in Portland, also spoke in favor of the resolution.
He said discrimination against anyone based on religion, ethnicity, disability or other similar factors "has no place in our country and certainly in this community."
Beaverton officially declared itself a Welcoming City for immigrants and refugees in April 2015 as part of a national movement.
"I think we have to keep reminding ourselves every day ... that we are a welcoming city," Council member Betty Bode said.
"Rest assured, we are there for you every step of the way," Mayor Denny Doyle told DAB members and others in the audience before the unanimous vote met with applause.