Northern Virginia has long been an inclusive and welcoming place. I moved here more than a decade ago, and have had a first-hand look at the growth and change in Loudoun county. As an American Muslim and part of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, I have watched our community grow and become more politically aware.
As Loudoun has changed, so has our representation. I was encouraged by Frank Wolf’s attention to our community, a tradition Representative Barbara Comstock has – on the surface – continued by her visits to the ADAMS Center and cultural events.
However, this election season, I have started to ask myself whether Rep. Comstock truly holds the same values that I and our community hold. Does she stand for inclusion and diversity? Will she stand up to bigotry and hatred? When you peel back the onion, her record and actions clearly reveal she looks to our Muslim community for votes but little else.
Rep. Comstock’s run for and time in Congress underscores how she views our immigrant population. In her two short years in Congress, she cosponsored a bill that makes it more difficult for refugees fleeing war and famine to seek asylum in the greatest country in the world.
And in her last campaign, she called on the government to track and watch immigrants like FedEx tracks its packages.
However, what I found most troubling was how long it took Comstock to renounce Trump after he continually demonized Islam and other immigrants. Her long held silence against Trump was deafening.
Even when presented with an opportunity to stand up for our community, Comstock balked.
She refused to support Rep. Don Beyer’s (D-VA) Freedom of Religion bill, which would have made Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants illegal. To me, it is clear where her priorities stand.
This vote was in line with her party, not her constituents. That is nothing new, as she holds an unwavering commitment to placing her party above our country. If Trump is elected, there’s no doubt where she will land on votes that may erode our civil liberties and try to tear at the fabric of freedom that George Washington, James Madison and our Founding Fathers fought and bled for.
When going to the voting booth in November, we must know exactly the politician we are voting for and hold them accountable for their promises. They represent us, and we must make sure we are not misled. Having a familiar face or attending Friday services is not enough.
We cannot just vote for someone because we recognize their name or have seen them at our places of worship. A vote for Comstock is a vote for the party that gave us Trump. This is why I will be voting to elect LuAnn Bennett as our next Congresswoman and urge you to the same.
Ibrahim A. Moiz
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