Jeff Dove Attends Service at Local Mosque to Discuss Community Issues; Rep. Gerry Connolly Refuses to Enter Building, Avoids Constituents.
Woodbridge, VA - On Friday afternoon, Jeff Dove, Republican nominee for the VA-11 Congressional seat, was invited a service at Dar-Al-Noor Mosque and community center. The mosque and community center, which though being in Manassas, serves the Eastern Prince William County Muslim community. Dar-Al-Noor invited all candidates running in addition to Mr. Dove.
While Mr. Dove arrived and was speaking with community members, a representative of the Connolly campaign arrived, and was openly shocked to see Mr. Dove there. Clearly preferring to send a staffer while he felt unchallenged, a phone call later, Rep. Connolly arrived at the mosque and refused to enter while Jeff was attending the service.
In addition to this exclusionairy and possibly Islamophobic behavior, Rep. Connolly admonished Dar-Al-Noor’s staff about inviting candidates that aren’t solely Gerry Connolly. Mr. Dove finds this behavior appalling, un-American, and disgraceful, especially for a sitting Representative:
“As an American and a Christian, religious freedom and respect for freedom of assembly and worship are critical parts of my personal ethos. Not wanting to debate me is understandable, as he has very few substantial accomplishments to show constituents.
But refusing to join me under one roof to show respect for a local religious community shows what little regard Rep. Connolly has not only for civil discourse, but also the Prince William Muslim community.” Dove said.
It’s unclear if Rep. Connolly is afraid of civil discourse, minority candidates, or his own district’s Muslim community. These are questions that need answers, and Gerry Connolly needs to explain this low behavior.