On December 3, the day after the deadly terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told listeners at the annual dinner of the Muslim Advocates that critics of Islam “will be prosecuted” if the exercise of free speech about Islam “edges” towards violence. Lynch, who was appointed by President Obama, said on December 3 that the Justice Department will take aggressive action against all persons whose rhetoric about Islam “edges towards violence.” Moreover, Lynch said  “we stand with you in this.”
 
Concerned by an alleged rise of attacks on Muslims and their mosques in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Lynch said that the Department of Justice will protect the Muslim community from illegal discrimination and violence. She said, “When we talk about the First amendment we [must] make it clear that actions predicated on violent talk are not American. They are not who we are, they are not what we do, and they will be prosecuted.”
 
Lynch added, “My message not just to the Muslim community but to all Americans is ‘We cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.’” 
On the Muslim Advocates website, a message accompanying Lynch’s photo noted that she was to discuss at the dinner the “priorities of the U. S. Department of Justice, particularly its efforts to combat anti-Muslim hate and discrimination.”
 
In November, Muslim Advocates released a statement denouncing GOP candidate Donald Trump. Debayani Kar stated on the website:
 
"It is simply unconscionable that Donald Trump would call for a forced national registration of American Muslims in the United States. Such an action is not only illegal under our Constitution, it would violate our nation’s most sacred values and repeat the deplorable practices of Nazi Germany."
 
"Now is the time for our leaders to unite Americans under our ideals of freedom, justice and equality under law. We call on all Americans of good faith to reject the frightful and hateful ideas Mr. Trump has espoused."
 
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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