The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS) is grateful for overwhelming Congressional support of H.R. 3985 – Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act of 2021. The ALLIES Act increases the number of immigration visas for Afghan citizens who protected Americans soldiers serving in Afghanistan. We thank the 407 members of the House of Representatives, both Republican and Democratic, who voted on July 22, 2021 to support this important legislative action in the tragic aftermath of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Since the vote, some members of Congress who voted against the bill have been making inflammatory statements regarding Afghan refugees. For example, Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) opposed the legislation claiming it could lead to “little girls raped and killed in the streets” if more Afghan refugees were allowed to come to the United States. These statements leave us concerned for the safety of Afghan-Americans currently living in this country and those who will be seeking refuge in our country in the coming days. Such xenophobic and Islamophobic statements, especially from our elected leaders, are dangerous as they normalize hate speech, potentially encourage discriminatory acts, and therefore must be condemned.
As an organization dedicated to raising awareness regarding anti-Jewish and Muslim sentiment and standing up against hate, we are compelled to bring attention to the dangers of this rhetoric. We call upon people of good conscience in this country to stand up against this inflammatory language. SOSS is committed to creating a safer and more welcoming environment for our Afghan brothers and sisters seeking refuge in our nation at this very critical time in our nation’s history.
September 15, 2021