Democrats want Rudy Giuliani to fire one of his top homeland security advisers, Long Island Rep. Pete King, for saying America has "too many mosques."
King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, made the comments in an article and video posted online by Politico.com.
"We have - unfortunately - we have too many mosques in this country," King said. "There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully."
Asked yesterday if he truly believes the United States has too many mosques, King said, "No," telling the Daily News his words were taken out of context.
"What I have always said, or for the last four or five years, is that we have too many mosques in this country that don't cooperate with law enforcement," he said. "Unfortunately, Politico was incapable of making this distinction."
Giuliani stood by King yesterday. "I knew exactly what he meant," which is that violence is preached in mosques, he said. "I know that from my own investigations of Islamic terrorism."
A spokesman for an Arab-American group, who echoed the call for Giuliani to jettison King, accepted the congressman's explanation but said it wasn't enough.
"I'm not going to call the man a liar," said Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "I'd like to see something strong from him distancing himself from those remarks because we've seen a pattern from him."