Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates public advocacy director Scott Simpson and South Dakota Voices for Justice executive director Taneeza Islam released the following statements in response to three anti-Muslim statewide candidates being shut out of last night’s GOP primary in South Dakota.
In a race for SD’s lone House seat, State Senator Neal Tapio – who zealously attacked Islam, Muslims, and local community leaders and claimed that he would win with another terrorist attack, – and SD Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, who supported a “Muslim registry”; refused to say whether Muslims were entitled to First Amendment rights; and attended an anti-Muslim hate group lecture last year, both lost the same congressional primary to Dusty Johnson, who responded to the extremism of his opponents by saying, “I think stereotyping all American Muslims is a great way to grab headlines, but a lousy way to keep us safe.”
South Dakota’s attorney general, Marty Jackley, also lost his GOP gubernatorial primary to Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Jackley was widely criticized for his appearance at an anti-Muslim hate group event during his campaign.
Taneeza Islam said, “Tapio hitched his entire campaign to the politics of fear and hate, and, while these other candidates tried to sneak it past us, they lost too. South Dakotans showed us yesterday that they will not give in to this open bigotry, and SD Voices for Justice will continue to expose SD candidates and elected officials for having bigoted platforms against immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. ”
Scott Simpson said, “Last night’s South Dakota elections were a shutout and vocal bigotry lost. These three failed campaigns join similar results in Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Texas, and North Dakota. This should serve as yet another warning for candidates nationwide – demonizing a religion only gives license to violence and bigotry, it does not lead to winning races.
Muslim Advocates is a 501c3 charity and does not endorse or oppose candidates for office. SD Voices for Justice is a SD nonprofit corporation and lobbying arm of SD Voices for Peace.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.
SD Voices for Justice empowers South Dakotans with accurate information on Muslims, immigrants and refugees to fight Islamophobia and anti-refugee/immigrant bigotry and nurture informed, inclusive, and civically engaged communities.