News Local/State

Mosque Visit With Rodney Davis Turns Into Debate

Congressman Rodney Davis at the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center

Congressman Rodney Davis met with congregants of the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center and Urbana-Champaign community members on Wednesday. Daniel Baker/Illinois Public Media

Congressman Rodney Davis’ visit Wednesday to the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center in Urbana was meant to strengthen ties with the local Muslim community — but the event turned into a debate over why he hasn’t been more involved in his district. 

C.I.M.I.C. member Faruq Nelson asked the Taylorville Republican why he had not attended other forums to which he was invited, such as a recent town hall against gun violence held in Champaign-Urbana by gun control advocates

Davis said there’s little point in meetings with political opponents unwilling to listen to his side of the issues. 

“I will not accept invitations that are put out by those who are dead set and politically opposed, no matter what I do or say," said Davis. 

Nelson says that forums — like the town hall on gun violence — are not just for citizens to tell Davis their concerns, but also for Davis to lead an exchange of ideas with his constituents. 

The U.S. representative says he’s willing to meet one on one with his constituents, whatever their views. But he says he’s not interested in attending events held by political opponents only interested in shouting him down. 

Davis adds that those unhappy with him can vote him out of office — to which Nelson responded by saying that Davis wrote off more than half of his constituents in Champaign County.