Corzine, Pascrell condemn anti-Muslim smears
The New Jersey office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today thanked Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) for their repudiation of Rep. Peter T. King's (R-NY) recent claims that "85 percent" of American Muslim community leaders are "an enemy living amongst us" and that "no (American) Muslims" cooperate in the war on terror.
King first made those claims February 9th on Sean Hannity's nationally-syndicated radio program and later repeated the accusations to local media.
Corzine and Pascrell repudiated King's remarks at an event for Muslim community leaders on Saturday in Teaneck, N.J.
Rep. Pascrell challenged King's claim that the vast majority of mosque leaders are extremists. He said the accusation is "not true." "In town after town, we know that Muslims are great Americans," said Pascrell.
At the same event, Sen. Corzine said: "It is outrageous to believe that 80 to 85 percent of mosques are (run by extremists). This is just not representative of what we see."
"We thank Senator Corzine and Congressman Pascrell for coming to the defense of the American Muslim community at this critical time," said CAIR-NJ Board Member Saladin Mustafa. "Congressman King's smears only serve to cast suspicion on all American Muslims and to create divisions between faiths." Mustafa called on other political and religious leaders to similarly repudiate King's defamatory comments.
Earlier this month, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) called King's statements "hate-filled," while the Interfaith Alliance termed them "inflammatory" and "outrageous."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.