American Leaders Asked
to Repudiate Anti-Islam Hate
Washington, DC: A prominent
national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group November
1 reacted to a series of physical and rhetorical attacks
on Islam and Muslims nationwide by calling on religious
and political leaders to repudiate growing Islamophobia
in American society.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) reported that a county commissioner in Florida said
Tuesday that he agrees with a letter his wife wrote to a
local newspaper calling Islam a "hateful, frightening
religion." SEE: Muslim Bashing Sets Off Furor ( St.
In Missouri , a top Baptist leader in that state told 1,200
convention delegates: "Today, Islam has a strategic
plan to defeat and occupy America ." He said Muslims
are planning to take over America one city at a time, starting
with Detroit . "They are trying to establish a Muslim
state inside America , and they are going to take the city
of Detroit back to the 15th century and practice Sharia
(or Islamic) law there." SEE: Muslims 'Are Here to
Take Over Our Country' ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch) SEE ALSO:
'The Message is Clear. The Enemy is Real' (Southeast Missourian)
Also in Missouri , "KKK" and "Kill Muslim"
were scrawled in spray paint on the garage door of a family
of Pakistani heritage. SEE: Racist Graffiti Scrawled on
Garage Door ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
In Pennsylvania , Sen. Rick Santorum compared the Islamic
concept of "Jihad" to Nazism. "Mein Kampf
means struggle; jihad means struggle," said Santorum.
(Jihad is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes
struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle
to improve the quality of life in society, struggle on the
battlefield by using a standing army for national defense,
or fighting against tyranny or oppression.)
SEE: Incumbent Says He's Not 'Fear-Mongering' ( Pittsburgh
CAIR said a number of political candidates nationwide have
exploited anti-Muslim bias in their campaigns.
In New York , Rep. Peter King claimed the vast majority
of mosques in his state and nationwide are being run by
"radicals." In California , a Muslim candidate
for the Anaheim City Council was labeled "anti-American"
by his Republican opponents. In Wisconsin , a congressional
candidate questioned about his call for profiling of Muslims
suggested looking for anyone who is "wearing a turban
and his name is Muhammad." And in Minnesota , another
candidate for Congress said that "as a Jew" he
is offended by his Muslim opponent's candidacy.
Last week, the national director of the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) said that dialogue with American Muslims is
a "pipe dream" because "there's nobody to
talk to." Last month on his "700 Club" television
program, Pat Robertson called the Qur’an "fraudulent."
SEE: The Truth about Muhammad (CBN)
"Anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society is growing to
alarming levels," said CAIR Communications Director
Ibrahim Hooper. "This disturbing trend can only get
worse unless top American religious and political leaders
speak out strongly against Islamophobia."
Hooper said a recent CAIR report indicated an almost 30
percent increase in the total number of complaints of anti-Muslim
bias from 2004 to 2005. A CAIR survey released last week
showed that Muslims are religiously diverse, well integrated
in American society, politically active, and lean toward
the Democratic Party.
CAIR, America 's largest Islamic civil liberties group,
has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada . Its
mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage
dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims,
and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.