Democratic Virginia delegate Ibraheem Samirah disrupted President Donald Trump's speech on Tuesday honoring the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, later tweeting that he did so because "nobody's racism and bigotry should be excused for the sake of being polite."
Samirah stood up during Trump's speech, held up a sign, and shouted: "You can't send us back, Virginia is our home!"
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A protester holding a sign the reads 'Deport Hate' interrupts Trump, shouting: "Mr. President, you can't send us back, Virginia is our home!"
Via ABC pic.twitter.com/P53tIzsmB9
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 30, 2019
In subsequent press release, Samirah explained his motives.
"Four hundred years ago today, a group of undocumented immigrants formed a government to rule this Commonwealth, beginning a centuries long tradition of people from across the world immigrating here for a chance at safety, democracy and prosperity; my parents, who are Palestinian refugees, included," he said, adding, "The fact that the racist-in-chief, who so openly stokes hate against immigrants, was even invited to this event is insulting to Virginians and insulting to the history of our Commonwealth's democracy."
I just disrupted the @realDonaldTrump speech in Jamestown because nobody's racism and bigotry should be excused for the sake of being polite. The man is unfit for office and unfit to partake in a celebration of democracy, representation, and our nation's history of immigrants. pic.twitter.com/0okD7eRVer
— Delegate Ibraheem Samirah (@IbraheemSamirah) July 30, 2019
Speaker of the Virginia House Delegates Kirk Cox also released a statement, saying that Samirah's protest was "not only inconsistent with common decency, it was also a violation of the rules of the House."
I am disappointed by Delegate Ibraheem Samirah’s disrespectful outburst during the President’s remarks. It was not only inconsistent with common decency, it was also a violation of the rules of the House. pic.twitter.com/YVkNzjtWpA
— Kirk Cox (@SpeakerCox) July 30, 2019
A Washington Free Beacon investigation found in early 2019 that Samirah has connections to many anti-Semitic organizations and that his father is a organizer for the terrorist group Hamas.
Samirah himself spoke at a Hamas-related conference in 2018 and is a fervent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. He urged friends on Facebook in 2014 to support the BDS movement while Israel is "most exposed."
While studying at American University and Boston University, Samirah participated in Students for Justice in Palestine, saying that the organization helped convince students that "Israel REALLY sucks."
Samirah has said that he takes his inspiration from his father, whom Al Jazeera described in 2011 as a "leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan." Samirah posted on Facebook in 2018 that he is "inspired by my father" to "dedicate my life to the liberation of Palestine."
Samirah volunteered on Rep. Rashida's Tlaib's (D., Mich.) national campaign in 2018 and hopes to win reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates later this year.