It has taken four days to get a comment from NY State Senator Tony Avella’s office, but the hard-to-reach elected official has finally responded to TheBlaze regarding why he left the stage during NYC’s Muslim Day Parade.
Just minutes before 3pm ET, Mr. Avella sent an email to TheBlaze answering most of of our questions. He started by combining the first two questions:
- How many of the previous Muslim Day Parades have you attended? (This was the 27th annual parade.)
- Have you been a “VIP” or “Honorary Marshall” for this parade in any previous years?
Although I have had contact with Muslim groups throughout New York City as a former member of the New York City Council, prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2010, this was the first Muslim Day Parade that I had been invited to attend.
TheBlaze followed with:
- What is your official reaction to the speech that inspired you to get up and leave the stage?
To which, the Senator replied:
I was deeply offended by the various remarks that were made during the on stage presentation and felt they were an attack on our country as well as the State of Israel and were anti-Semitic in nature and as a result I left the stage in protest. In addition, I immediately wrote the Parade Committee the next day on Monday indicating my outrage. (Avella’s letter to the parade organizers is attached below)
And the final two questions we posed were also answered by one statement.
- There was also a speaker there, an imam from Brooklyn, who demanded a UN law that would criminalize “defaming” Islam or the prophet Muhammed. Where do you stand on this proposal or any proposal that seems to conflict with our First Amendment?
- If you support the imam’s idea on the speech limitations, what do you think about the painting known as “Piss Christ” – an “art” exhibit recently mounted at a local gallery?
I was shocked to hear the Imam’s negative comments about freedom of speech and individual rights.
Read it all.