Houston Mayor Holds Ground Against Cease-fire Demand from Local Muslims

(HorizonPost.com) – Houston Mayor John Whitmire ignored a demand from the city’s Muslim leaders to call for a cease-fire in Israel’s war against Hamas by last Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

More than 40 imams and Muslim organizations threatened to boycott Houston’s annual Ramadan dinner if Whitmire did not call for a cease-fire by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. The group warned the mayor that he would lose the support of Muslims if he failed to comply.

When asked if the Mayor planned to give in to the threat, his spokeswoman Mary Benton said as the mayor of Houston, Whitmire looked forward to attending the city’s 25th annual Iftar dinner which is scheduled for March 17 to be a “unifying presence at the dinner.”

The organizers of the dinner have not said if Whitmire’s invitation would be rescinded for his failure to cave to the demands.

In their letter, the Muslim leaders told the organizers that inviting Whitmire, other city officials, and Israeli diplomats to the dinner without first demanding they call for a cease-fire would send “a troubling message” to the Muslim community and undermine “reconciliation efforts.”

The group threatened to pull “support and backing” from the March 17 dinner if support for a cease-fire was not forthcoming by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 6.

The Muslim leaders also said they would encourage members of their communities to boycott the event.

The letter singled out Mayor Whitmire specifically, accusing him of repeatedly refusing to call for a cease-fire in Gaza “despite repeated requests” for him to do so at every Houston City Council meeting since Whitmire took office.

Whitmire was elected in November and took off in January.

After the October 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel, both Whitmire and then-Mayor Sylvester Turner condemned Hamas for the attacks and expressed support for Houston’s Jewish community.

Then-candidate Whitmire said in an October 11 tweet that he was honored to stand with thousands of others in Houston expressing their “solidarity” with Israel.

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