AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller is calling for Austin Mayor Steve Adler to not attend Austin’s Iftar Dinner with keynote speaker Rep. Ilhan Omar.
"I'm not protesting the event. I mean I support that,” Miller said Wednesday. “He should go but not if she's the keynote speaker.”
This weekend marks Austin's 4th annual Citywide Iftar Dinner featuring Adler as the guest of honor. Freshman U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), the keynote speaker for the event, has drawn criticism from even members of her own party for comments she's made about Israel and 9/11.
"She's unfit to serve. She's a radical Islam. She's very active in CAIR which supports the Muslim brotherhood and Hamas and she's just not representative of Texas at all," Miller said.
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded to this comment with a statement, saying that they are a "civil rights organization."
"CAIR is a civil rights organization similar to ACLU and ADL," the statement reads. "Our recent work in the case of speech pathologist and her right to work shows what CAIR does. We helped stand up for freedom of speech in Texas for an active contributing member of our society."
CAIR also called Adler a "good friend of diverse communities."
"This is our Austin and Mayor Adler is a good friend of diverse communities and understands his civic responsibility and civil rights better than Sid Miller," the statement said.
Miller, who has found himself under fire at times for comments he's made on social media about various issues, describes Rep. Omar's remarks as "anti-Semitic."
"I'm obviously upset about this, I'm a staunch supporter of Israel, the Jewish nation. They're God's chosen people. I'm a Christian," he said.
This week Miller took to social media to call on Mayor Adler, who is Jewish, to "ditch" the Ramadan dinner and "tell Rep. Omar to stay home."
"Which makes it even more important that he not attend because he's actually going to give them ammunition," Miller said. “Especially if he gets his picture made with her at this event.”
Miller said he's wondering why other statewide officials aren't backing him up on this.
"You know I'm charging the hill and I look over my shoulder and there's nobody behind me," he said. "I'm the more outspoken one. I'm the one that's got the balls to do it. And the others...they're busy right now you know, they've got a lot going on at the Legislature, we're in the final throws of the Legislature and I'll give them a pass. They've got a lot on their plate."
Adler addressed Miller's request for him to skip the Iftar Dinner Wednesday.
"I think it's a real gift to this city to have a community, city-wide Iftar. It's a time for the community to get together and be closer to God and to learn and grow with one another," Adler said. "As the Mayor of this city it is my honor and privilege and responsibility and duty to lean into these kinds of learning opportunities rather than walking away from them."
"I am totally going to be at that event,” added Adler.
To learn more about the dinner or purchase tickets, visit the Facebook event page.