(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/13/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) bizarre claim that refugees who “do hajj to Mecca” cannot assimilate into other cultures like their Christian counterparts.
The anti-Muslim remarks were made at a rally for GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
[NOTE: Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime obligation, is one of the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith. The other pillars include a declaration of faith, daily prayers, offering regular charity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.]
According to the Washington Post, King said: "I’m all about assimilation and whatever people can come here and assimilate and they’re here legally, I’m for those folks," Iraqi Christians, "they assimilate pretty fine into this culture. But I can’t find models of the folks that, say, do the hajj to Mecca, I can’t find models where they’ve assimilated into the broader culture of civilization wherever they’ve gone."
“Steve King’s demonstrably false assertion that Muslims cannot be assimilated is deeply disturbing and reminiscent of Nazi-era falsehoods targeting European Jews,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw.
McCaw noted that in April, King invited infamous Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders to privately address members of Congress and to speak at a Capitol Hill news conference.
In the past, Wilders has stated "I hate Islam," called the Quran a "fascist book" that should be banned, referred to the Prophet Mohammed as "the devil," and proposed putting a tax on Islamic head scarves (hijab) worn by Muslim women.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
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