Earlier this week Heba Mohammad, a resident of the city of Green Bay, sent this email to Alderman Chris Wery, a Republican who represents Green Bay’s 8th Aldermanic district on the Green Bay Common Council.
As shown in the email, Mohammad clearly articulated a valid concern about the ability of some voters in Green Bay to get to the polls to cast their votes on November 4, and she asked for Ald. Wery’s help in addressing the issue. In response, Wery sent this email to Mohammad.
As you can see, Ald. Wery’s response quickly transitions from an acknowledgment of the reason for her initial contact into an interrogation of her affiliation with the Muslim Student Association at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Ald. Wery then demanded assurances that Mohammad and the MSA did not support militant Islamic ideology or Sharia law and asked her to condemn Sharia law, militant Islamic ideology, and Hamas, as if Mohammad’s being a Muslim somehow made those condemnations necessary.
Here’s Mohammad’s pitch-perfect response to Ald. Wery’s email.
Predictably, Ald. Wery was less than satisfied with Mohammad’s response, noting in his final email response to her that he took her non-answer as his answer and adding that as the founder of the UW-Green Bay Muslim Student Association she was “indeed THE person to ask.” What Wery seemed to be oblivious to is the fact that Heba Mohammad’s religious or personal beliefs should have absolutely NO bearing on anything, especially considering her initial contact with Wery was in regards to a legitimate concern she had about ensuring voters had the ability to get to the polls on election day.
I wanted to apologize to Heba Mohammad. She reached out to me about free busing on election days. I helped her with this and it is something we will be looking into. However, I asked her in the same email about a chapter of AMA she founded at UWGB. While other chapters nationwide have issues, and my concerns are real, I should have addressed it in a separate forum. I called and spoke with Heba, apologized and asked if we could meet to discuss my concerns. We left the phone conversation with a good understanding of each other.
If you’d like to send Ald. Chris Wery an email to let him know his kind of bigotry has no place among those elected to serve, please do so – just be respectful.