Chairman Crowley Invites Queens Business Owner Who Was A Victim of an Anti-Muslim Hate Crime to President Trump’s Joint Address

February 24, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) announced today that he has invited Sarker Haque – a business-owner in Astoria, Queens who was the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime – as his guest to President Donald Trump’s joint address before Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

“President Trump has demonized Islam and the Muslim-American community since he first announced his campaign for the presidency – attacks that only continued after his inauguration. This rhetoric, along with the announced travel ban against seven predominantly Muslim countries, goes against everything we stand for as Americans,” Chairman Crowley said. “This is why I’m so proud that Sarker Haque will be my guest at President Trump’s joint address next week. The victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime, Sarker is emblematic of the American dream. He immigrated to this country in search of a better life and now owns his own business in Astoria.

Chairman Crowley continued, “While I stand firmly opposed to the actions taken so far by President Trump, I believe Members of Congress have a duty to hear from the president when he speaks before Congress. However, I want President Trump to know that I vehemently disagree with his characterization of immigrants and Muslim-Americans. When the president speaks to the country on Tuesday, he’ll also be addressing Sarker – a business owner, a proud American, and, like the president’s family, an immigrant who came to the United States in search of the American dream. I hope President Trump remembers this as he prepares for the significant responsibility of addressing the nation.”

Sarker Haque is the proprietor of a convenience store in Astoria, Queens and an immigrant from Bangladesh who has lived in the United States for three decades, building his business and raising five children. In 2015, Sarker was the victim of a hate crime in which he was beaten by an attacker claiming he wanted to “kill Muslims.” The community rallied around Sarker and his store, applauding his courage and strength in the face of intolerance and hate. Following the attack, Crowley visited Sarker’s store and presented him with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol.