FAIRFAX – Congressman Gerry Connolly has called on Pat Robertson to apologize for his statement that Islam is “not a religion” but a “violent political system.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Connolly said Robertson caused substantial hurt and damage for the Muslim community in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth in the week since he made the hate-filled remarks on his national television show.

Connolly said Robertson’s comments have “the potential to cause real discord,” and he urged Robertson to apologize for his “hate-filled rhetoric” to Muslims and non-Muslims in Virginia.

Congressman Connolly issued the following statement:

“In the week since Mr. Robertson’s statement that Islam is ‘not a religion’ but a ‘violent political system’ whose adherents should be treated like members of the communist or fascist party, I have heard from hundreds of outraged Northern Virginians – Muslim and non-Muslim. Here in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia and, in fact, across our Commonwealth, Muslim-Americans are a vibrant part of our communities. They serve in our nation’s military, contribute to our economic growth, and in myriad other ways, help form the diverse tapestry that is Virginia in the 21st century.

“Some will dismiss Mr. Robertson’s comments as the strange ramblings of a man stuck in a bygone era. But when a prominent Virginian chooses to engage in hate-filled rhetoric that divides us and has the potential to fuel real discord in our polity, leaders cannot remain silent. That is why I am calling on Mr. Robertson to apologize to my constituents – Muslim and non-Muslim – for the hurt he has caused and the damage he has done. It is a week overdue.”

George Burke – 202-225-1492/ 202-503-7756 George.burke@mail.house.gov


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