October 13, 2023
OC Supervisors Wagner, Do, and Foley

Chairman Donald Wagner, Vice Chairman Andrew Do, and Supervisor Katrina Foley Recently Released a Statement Implying Islam and Muslims Are To Blame for the Ongoing Violence in the Region

On Oct. 10, three Orange County Board of Supervisors released a deeply problematic and Islamophobic statement in response to the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine. 

The one-sided statement—issued by Chairman Donald Wagner, Vice Chairman Andrew Do, and Supervisor Katrina Foley—offers solidarity with Israeli victims of violence but blatantly makes no mention of the 1,400 Palestinians killed by Israel in their most recent assault and bombardment of Gaza.  

SEE: Despite Representing a Large Amount of OC Muslims, Supervisor Do Rejects Recognition

The statement goes out of its way to name the violence and terrorism as “Islamic” and wrongfully and dangerously implies that Islam and Muslims are to blame for the violence that has unfolded in the region.

Instead of using their platform as an opportunity to recognize and support all the communities impacted by the recent events—including Palestinian Americans, Arab Americans, and American Muslims—the Supervisors chose to engage in old Islamophobic tropes that conflate violence with a religion practiced by two billion people around the world.

The statement also asks local Muslims, who have nothing to do with the recent escalation, to condemn the violence. This request not only ignores the fact that Muslim leaders have repeatedly condemned terrorism and violence against innocents but is extremely dangerous for the Muslim community. The Supervisors would never, nor should they ever, ask local Jewish people who have nothing to do with the actions of Israel to condemn the consistent and persistent acts of state-sponsored violence inflicted by the Israeli government on innocent Palestinian civilians. Such an action would be antisemitic, just as the Supervisor’s statement is Islamophobic. These double standards are harmful and make our community less safe.


We call on Chairman Wagner, Vice Chairman Do, and Supervisor Foley to take accountability for their bigoted and Islamophobic statements, meet with local Palestinian human rights advocates to gain a more balanced and informed perspective of the situation, and meet with local Muslim leaders to gain a better understanding of Islam and address their Islamophobia.