A Maryland city council member and former public school teacher apologized for suggesting at a recent school-board meeting that Muslim parents and students who oppose Pride themes and lessons in schools are aligned with white supremacists, Fox News first reported.
“[My remarks] created an opportunity for misunderstanding and mischaracterization,” progressive Montgomery County council member Kristin Mink said in a statement. “I apologize for the hurt that caused in the Muslim community.”
Mink said that the remarks she made at a Tuesday board of education meeting were “focused on promoting inclusion.”
During the Tuesday meeting, Muslim students from the Montgomery County Public School district lamented their parents’ inability to opt them out of LGBTQ lessons they say violate their faith.
“I’m here to talk about my rights. My religion teaches to respect all religions and all human beings and their rights. So does my country’s law. And I want my right back to have an opt-out option,” said one of the students, identified as Sa’ad.
“Although the introduction of texts and discussions related to transgenderism and LGBTQ+ may support MCPS’s mission to be all-inclusive… I don’t believe my first-grade and third-grade cousins are prepared to read and discuss such issues,” another student said.
Responding to the students’ concerns, Mink said: “This issue has unfortunately put some, not all, of course, some Muslim families on the same side of an issue as white supremacists and outright bigots.”
“I would not put you in the same category as those folks, although, you know, it’s complicated because they’re falling on the same side of this particular issue,” she continued. “And that is equity.”
Montgomery County Councilmember Kristin Mink says Muslim families are on the same side as white supremacists, because they care about their kids.
Kristin Mink will get voted out next election.
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 8, 2023
Mink said in her apology that she had discussed her remarks with members of the local Muslim community, but director of the Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team for the Religious Freedom Institute, Ismail Royer, said that her public comments contradicted their private discussion.
“We were really disappointed because we had all been speaking to her before meeting, and she was nodding along and seeming like she was at least understanding our point of view even if she didn’t agree with it,” Royer said. “But then for her to go and say Muslim views are the same as White supremacists… I was shocked. I was absolutely stunned. That’s the last thing that I thought she was going to say.”