The Democratic member of a Maryland city council who equated Muslims opposed to LGBTQ-based curriculum to white supremacists apologized Sunday, committing herself to “seek points of understanding” in the future.
Democrat Kristin Mink of Montgomery County Council for District 5 apologized to members of the Muslim community June 11 after lambasting their opposition to a new policy that will not allow parents to opt their children out of lessons centered on LGBTQ issues and topics.
As multiple members of the Muslim community testified before the council over their concerns about the new policy June 6, Mink dismissed their religious objections to LGBTQ topics and issues, arguing the policy did not infringe on their religious rights. “Just as we cannot allow folks to opt out of teachings about evolution, we can allow them to teach about this,” Mink stated at the time.
Mink went on to say the opposition presented by some Muslim families over LGBTQ-based lessons put them on the “same side of an issue as white supremacists and outright bigots,” Mink said, according to a clip from video journalist Ford Fischer.
“I regret that although my remarks were focused on promoting inclusion, they created an opportunity for misunderstanding and mischaracterization,” Mink wrote in an apology letter posted to Twitter. “I apologize for the hurt that caused in the Muslim community.”
“Even when individuals disagree about difficult issues, I am committed to finding space to foster authentic dialogue and seek points of understanding. I sat down to hear from Muslim community members before my remarks on Tuesday and with District 5 Muslim leaders on Thursday. I listened, and I understand their concerns,” she stated, adding that she looked forward to working with both Muslim and LGBTQ communities to tackle issues.
On Tues., June 6, I spoke at a Montgomery County Board of Education meeting about inclusive education & whether families should be permitted to opt their children out of LGBTQIA-inclusive curriculum materials. I regret that although my remarks were focused on promoting inclusion, pic.twitter.com/XP4GzvKMpn
— Councilmember Kristin Mink (@CMKristinMink) June 11, 2023
Prior to becoming a councilwoman, Mink resigned from a left-wing organization dubbed “Lights for Liberty” in 2019, reportedly telling her former colleagues in an email the organization was “too white” on the executive level for her liking.
“This is very difficult for me to write… I am also not OK with the state of our organization… I would be more than glad to come back on board if Black and Brown voices are given a seat at the executive table,” Mink wrote at the time, according to Fox News.
Arguing that white women serving as representatives for the organization would lead to a credibility issue, Mink further went on to argue that speakers for the organization’s events needed to be “intersectional and multi-racial. White people… should be few and with good reason,” Mink stated, according to the outlet.
“It’s ironic, of course, that in an arena focused on dismantling systemic racism and confronting White supremacy, both can be found in some of the organizations ostensibly doing the work. [Folks] in those spaces should know better, right?” she wrote, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Target Funds Organization Pushing To Shut Down Mt. Rushmore Because It’s A ‘Symbol Of White Supremacy’)
Mink’s apology to the Muslim community comes two days after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) slammed her remarks as “offensive” and dangerous”, calling on the councilwoman to apologize publicly for her statements.
“Using a public platform at a school board hearing…to link your Muslim constituents with the same white supremacist groups who so often threaten our own existence and well-being, has caused deep offense and disrespect, CAIR stated.
CAIR indicated it was seeking an apology from Mink to “help repair some of the damage” her remarks had caused the community.