Members of the congregation at Chabad of Poway embrace after the shooting. Photo by Chris Stone

Democratic Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar said Friday that if elected next year he will introduce a bill to protect houses of worship from terrorism.

“Last weekend, we witnessed more than an act of terror at the Chabad synagogue in Poway. We witnessed what is now becoming a chilling pattern of bloody attacks on places of worship across our community, country and the world,” said Campa-Najjar.

He noted that the same young man, John T. Earnest, is also charged with setting fire to a mosque in Escondido.

Campa-Najjar called his proposed legislation the Safety for American Communities of Faith through Education Act. The act would:

  • Require tech companies to prevent foreign and domestic terrorists from using social media to radicalize and recruit online
  • Fund mental health treatment, including putting more counselors in schools
  • Create a curriculum for religious studies and counter-extremism in early education
  • Institute higher penalties and mandatory sentences for terrorist acts of violence against places of worship

Campa-Najjar is running against incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is under indictment for alleged campaign financing fraud, for the 50th Congressional seat in East County.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.