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Councilwoman accused of racist Muslim comment

January 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A diverse group of Antelope Valley religious and political leaders are asking for Lancaster City Councilwoman Sherry Marquez, to apologize for what she wrote on her Facebook page about Muslims."Why this is of such great concern is that it isn't something that was said to somebody or was overheard on an open microphone. It is because it went on the World Wide Web," said Valerie Elliott of the Antelope Valley Interfaith Council.

A portion of what Marquez wrote on her Facebook page after reading a story about a Buffalo New York man accused of beheading his wife reads, "This is what the Muslim religion is all about. The beheadings, honor killings are just the beginning of what is to come in the U.S.A. We are told this is a small majority of Muslims in America, but it is truly what they are all about."

"We need her apology to come from the heart, and that comes with education," said Kamal Al-Khatib of the American Islamic Institute of A.V.

Marquez has her supporters. She was elected to the Lancaster City Council in 2008.

"Maybe she shouldn't have commented on what she said. Maybe it was taken out of context." said Ron Spears, a Lancaster resident. "It is just Facebook, and I'm sure she doesn't want to offend any people. The more that I read about her, I'm sure she does not hate Muslim people in general."

Marquez denied requests for interviews by Eyewitness News. Instead, she referred to a statement she read at a Tuesday night city council meeting.

"My reaction to that has now affected those and the city and to you. I apologize. I was, Saturday morning, and am still very disturbed every time I read about these horrific crimes against women and young girls. I will continue to voice my opinion and speak out about it," she stated at the meeting.

While one group says that they'll continue to ask Marquez to apologize to the Antelope Valley's religious community, they have convinced the councilwoman to remove the statements from her Facebook page


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