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Re: Chatham councilman apologizes for anti-Muslim statements

Dear Editor:

The current anti-American Muslim rhetoric seems to be unending. Here we have the latest example personified by Peter Hoffman who is running for reelection as a Councilman in the Chatham Borough.

For years, Mr. Hoffman has prided himself as being pro diversity and for his respect of the mosaic that makes up Chatham and indeed America as a whole.  A bigoted and racist comment of his past was recently exposed. A Facebook post states:  “a hyphenated American is not an American at all” and then he asserts that “assimilation is what made this country great, NOT emphasizing differences.”  Digging himself further, one discovers Mr. Hoffman’s close links to right-wing pundits who have been known to spew hateful statements against Blacks, immigrants, Jews, and Muslims.

Mr. Hoffman quickly apologized and deleted his posts and twitter account, however, he does not deserve to be an elected official representing the residents of Chatham. His apology is nothing more than a heartless and a calculated example of political expediency. Most alarmingly, we have yet to see a single Republican official come forward to condemn Hoffman’s bigotry.

Suffice it to say, attacks on any religious or ethnic minority, if not confronted, will only give way to more attacks and insults against other groups and lifestyles. We should never reward such positions with a seat in our government even within the small borough of Chatham.

Respectfully,

Dr. Aref Assaf

President of the American Arab Forum

The American Arab Forum is a Paterson based think-tank specializing in Arab and Muslim affairs.