The Central Jersey Progressive Democrats oppose the spreading of hatred and division between people. We unequivocally condemn the hateful election flyer recently distributed in Piscataway, which called Dr. Atif Nazir “the leader of a radical group trying to take over the government.”
It is a deep betrayal of public responsibility that the flyer was signed by office holders Kapil Shah, Nitang Patel and Kalpesh Patel; paid for by the Election Fund of Sen. Bob Smith; circulated by the wife of Mayor Brian Wahler. It was targeted to Indian-Americans and translated into Gujarati to target that voting bloc. This was a dog-whistle attack, coded to stir fear and division against the Muslim community in Piscataway, where Dr. Nazir has served as a school board member. It is an attempt to divide the South Asian community along religious, ethnic and national lines. It is also an effort to smear everyone who is standing up for an open electoral process.
We condemn the use of these divisive and truly shameful tactics, which we see on a daily basis in our national political dialogue. We stand in solidarity with Dr. Nazir and all of Piscataway, which is the seventh most diverse community in New Jersey. We will not be silent while this kind of fear-mongering and intolerance is being used to divide people. We call on all of those involved to retract this statement publicly and to apologize publicly to Dr. Nazir and to the entire Piscataway community. We further call on the donors to the Election Fund of Bob Smith to repudiate the use of their funds to spread this hategul message. A list of Sen. Smith's largest donors can be found below.