LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA.com) — Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, who represents Lake Elsinore, is in hot water for a tweet that appeared to be critical of all Muslims.
After the news that American hostage Kayla Mueller was murdered by ISIS, the Republican assemblywoman (67th district) wrote:
"Gut wrenching news today. American Kayla Mueller murdered by Islamic savages. There MUST be consequences. #stand up against Islam."
She told KCAL9's Crystal Cruz that it's not about the hashtags.
The last part of Melendez' tweet didn't go over too well with Sarah Moussa, chairwoman of the California Democratic party's Arab-American caucus.
"It was incredibly offensive, deeply offensive and terribly unfortunately misguided," Moussa said of the tweet.
Melendez, a Navy veteran who lives in Lake Elsinore, is now responding to her critics.
"I'm sorry that there are some here that have decided to use that tweet and make it as part of their political agenda. The tweet was about Kayla, whose gone now," Melendez said.
Critics tweeted back: "I'm Muslim and my heart cries for Kayla. I think we should stand up against perpetuation of hate like ISIS. And your tweet."
"I served in the Navy, my husband served in the Navy, and we have 34 years of service between us. We spent 34 years defending religious freedom, so anyone who knows me knows I would never condemn someone based on their religion," Melendez said.
Another Melendez critic also pointed out the killings of three Muslims this week tweeting "Do you mean stand up like the Chapel Hill shootings? You are a disgrace."
Melendez told Cruz perhaps she could have chosen different words.
"I think the tweet we could've used something different stand up against Isis," she said.
"We want to make sure that an apology is issued not just to her area but to the entire nation," Moussa said.
The assemblywoman say she apologizes and that it was not her intention to offend Muslims.
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