Miss Puerto Rico, Destiny Velez, was indefinitely suspended by the Miss America Organization after making a series of anti-Muslim tweets. Velez, 20, was responding to director Michael Moore’s pro-Muslim demonstration in front of Donald Trump’s building, the Trump Tower in New York City.
“Miss Velez’s actions were in contradiction to the organization, and therefore as a consequence of her actions, she has been suspended indefinitely,” the Miss America Organization announced on Facebook Dec. 19. “The Miss Puerto Rico Organization will not tolerate any actions or behavior contrary to the Miss Puerto Rico Organization.”
Velez apologized for her statements, but her suspension remains in place. Critics have slammed her ban as an infringement on free speech.
I apologize to the people I have offended with my words. I am first and foremost an #UpStander and as such I stand up against bullying.
The last thing I wanted to do was to bully anyone. Again, I apologize to anyone who felt offended with my words.”
The controversy erupted after Michael Moore protested Donald Trump’s proposal to temporary ban non-U.S. Muslims from entering the United States following the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terrorist attack that left 14 people dead.
Moore shared a photo of himself standing outside Trump Tower with a sign that read: “We are all Muslim.” In response, Miss Puerto Rico slammed Michael on Twitter in screenshots captured by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (see above):
“Muslims use our constitution to terrorize USA & plant gas stations. All what Muslims have done is provided oil & terrorize this country & many others,” said Velez.
“There’s NO comparison between Jews, Christians & Muslims. Jews nor Christians have terrorizing agendas in their sacred books.”
Destiny received heavy backlash on Twitter, with many saying she’s bullying Muslims. Velez has since deleted all her social media accounts, including Twitter and Instagram. Meanwhile, others defended Velez, saying her suspension is censorship that infringes her right to freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech! Just as Moore can stand out there and give his opinion, why can’t she?” wrote one furious fan.
Another added: “No freedom of speech. Why is it she can’t have her own opinion about something? That’s not right.”
Donald Trump’s calls to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. has been widely condemned. Trump said the ban is necessary after the San Bernardino shootings, where a radical Islamic couple killed 14 Americans and wounded 27 others.
Tashfeen Malik, the wife of terrorist Syed Farook, entered the United States in 2014 on a K1 fiance visa after being “vetted” by the State Department. Tashfeen passed screening even though she gave a fake home address and had been radicalized for years.
Intelligence officials recently revealed that terrorists have targeted the refugee program to enter the U.S. FBI Director James Comey has said the government does not have the ability to conduct thorough background checks on all the Muslim Syrian refugees President Obama wants to admit into the country.