REVERE, Mass. (AP) — Muslim rights and advocacy groups in Massachusetts have accused a suburban Boston city councilor of anti-Islamic social media posts.
Revere city councilor George Rotondo Jr. insisted late Tuesday his online posts "are not what they are being called" and said the allegations were "totally politically motivated."
But Jetpac, a political action committee that supports Muslim candidates for public office, and the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for an investigation of the posts. The two groups want to know if Rotondo is using city resources to promote what they say is an Islamophobic and anti-immigrant agenda.
Jetpac and the Islamic council say Rotondo has posted links several times to "propaganda" by discredited anti-Muslim groups such as Jihad Watch and a YouTube video that describes Portland, Maine, as "overrun" by migrants from Africa.
"We've seen throughout history that hateful rhetoric inspires violence," Jetpac's executive director, Mohammed Missouri, said in a statement. "Councilor Rotondo has the right to say what he wants on his own time, but Revere residents also have a right to know if he's using any public resources as a city councilor to promote hatred of Muslims."
John Robbins, executive director of the council's Massachusetts chapter — the state's largest Muslim advocacy organization — said the posts "demonstrate a disturbing pattern of animosity against Muslims."
"Muslims of Revere, who include children, police officers, teachers, doctors, and their families, deserve more from their elected officials," he said.
In March, the organization said it received 232 requests in 2018 for legal assistance for civil rights cases related to harassment, hate crimes, travel abuses and discrimination.