Joint Statement of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Pars Equality Center, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)

Washington, DC – As organizations representing the Iranian American community, we stand united in condemning – in the strongest possible terms – the violence and bigotry displayed by hate groups in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday and Saturday.

We stand in solidarity with all who believe in the promise of America: that no matter where you come from or what you look like, we are all equal.

The display of hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ultimately claimed three lives, has no place in America. The First Amendment allows for the freedom of expression, speech and peaceful assembly, but it does not tolerate or protect speech inciting violence, or the usage of shields and helmets, rifles, and other weapons in expressing that speech. And regardless of the illegality, as Americans, we stand unified against any person that prescribes to these hateful beliefs.

White supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis or fascists are not patriots. They do not represent the ideals and values that America represents, nor the principles enshrined in our Constitution, and they must be unequivocally denounced and rejected by all who love this country and what it stands for.

President Trump’s failure of moral clarity and leadership as President of the United States must be denounced forthrightly and unequivocally. Morality knows no political party. Racism, bigotry, and violence of any form are intolerable and should be unequivocally condemned by our leaders.

We remain committed to combating this hateful ideology, in all its forms, and will continue to work with our partners and allies in this fight towards equality and inclusiveness.

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