UPDATE: Rep. Royce Plays The Victim, Suggests Children Support Controversial Imam
Yesterday, we highlighted a disturbing event that took place in Yorba Linda, California last month, in which Muslim families, some with very small children, were screamed at and berated at a local community center. Two Republican Members of Congress, Reps. Ed Royce and Gary Miller, were in attendance.
We reached out to both offices yesterday to see if either had something to say about the event. Neither returned our call. Royce, however, issued a statement in which he cast himself as the victim, suggesting that he was being attacked for calling attention to the speakers.
Towards the very end of the statement, Royce did acknowledge the hate explosion, but said nothing more than, "It is regrettable that some protesters at the community center yelled insults at Imam Wahhaj's supporters."
The statement is worse than if Royce had said nothing at all. The video very clearly shows that children were among those who were screamed at, called "terrorist-lovers," and told to go home.
Royce's statement indicates that he has no problem with a crowd coming together to attack peaceful audience members. Nor is he upset with adults who scream insults at small children. Worse, he suggests that everyone who attended the fundraiser, including the young children, supported the controversial speakers.
I spoke to Royce's spokesperson, Audra McGeorge, this morning and pointed out that these are the unfortunate impressions anyone could get from her boss's statement. McGeorge seemed to shrug off the suggestion, saying that the press release was their official statement and that I could take from it anything that I chose.