BOISE, Idaho – Senators passed a symbolic measure highlighting Idaho’s commitment to human rights, just days after an Islamic mosque in Boise was targeted by swastika stickers. It reaffirms the state’s commitment to “freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin or disability.” Senator Edgar Malepeai argued the resolution sends a message to racist or bigoted groups that Idaho doesn’t tolerate hateful acts.
In the 1980s and 90s, meetings of the Aryan Nations in Hayden Lake in northern Idaho earned the state a reputation as a haven for racist groups. Malepeai says he’s concerned the incident at the Islamic Center of Boise last week could be a harbinger of renewed neo-Nazi activity. Malepeai says, “We need to respond to this resurgence of hate, and a resolution is a necessary step.”