(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/23/15) -- A coalition of leading American Muslim civil liberties, human rights, faith, and cultural organizations sent a letter today to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Right to Rise PAC requesting that Jordan Sekulow be removed from his position as senior advisor to the PAC because of his long history of supporting anti-Muslim legislation and Islamophobic causes.
The letter, sent by the US Council of Muslim Organizations* (USCMO), reads in part:
"We the undersigned American Muslim civil liberties, human rights, faith, and cultural organizations respectfully request that Jordan Sekulow be removed from his position as senior advisor to the Right to Rise PAC because of his history of supporting anti-Muslim legislation and Islamophobic causes.
"The Right to Rise PAC 'believe that free and fair opportunity for all is at the heart of what makes America exceptional.' That is why we are certain Sekulow's support for unconstitutional laws and policies that infringe on the First Amendment-protected rights and liberties of American Muslims makes him unfit to advise the Right to Rise PAC.
"Sekulow is executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization that in 2011 published an anti-Muslim pamphlet titled 'Shari'a Law: Radical Islam's Threat to the U.S. Constitution,' which falsely claims that 'devout Muslims cannot truthfully swear the oath to become citizens of the United States of America.'
"Also in 2011, Sekulow appeared on CBN News to offered ACLJ's assistance to state legislators who were, 'serious about writing a law from stopping judges from being able to use Sharia law in court.' He said ACLJ will 'walk you through this.' These comments were in response to a CBN report on efforts around the country to ban Sharia (Islamic principles), including disturbing legislation in Tennessee that Sekulow and ACLJ supported. …
"In 2012 Sekulow and ACLJ supported Oklahoma's 2012 'Save Our State' Amendment, which prohibited state courts from considering foreign law or Sharia when making rulings. While the amendment was struck down as unconstitutional in federal court for violating the Establishment Clause, Sekulow supported the bill with an essay titled: 'In defense of Oklahoma's Sharia ban.' …
"In 2010, Sekulow and ACLJ filed a lawsuit to prevent the construction of the Park51 Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan objecting to its two block proximity to the site of the World Trade Center.
"Sekulow was also a listed speaker at an anti-Park51 rally hosted by anti-Muslim hate groups American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). Both groups have been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as 'active anti-Muslim groups' and by CAIR as part of the 'inner core of the Islamophobia network in America.' SIOA was refused a trademark in May 2011 after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board finding that its name was disparaging to Muslims.
"ACLJ's frivolous suit was dismissed by the New York State Supreme Court for not having any standing to challenge the building permits of Park51. …
"While you have not personally endorsed Sekulow's anti-Muslim positions, you and the Right to Rise PAC have clearly endorsed someone who holds strong Islamophobic views. We hope that hiring Sekulow was an oversight and not a validation of his views. Removing Sekulow would resolve this troubling question."
In requesting Jeb Bush and the Right to Rise PAC to replace Jordan Sekulow and fill the position with a more balanced replacement, the USCMO also invited Bush to meet with national leaders of the American Muslim community to discuss the issues and concerns of Muslims as George W. Bush did during his first presidential bid.
* US Council of Muslim Organizations members include: American Muslims for Palestine (APM); the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); the Islamic Center of Wheaton, the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA); the Muslim American Society (MAS); the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA); the Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA); United Muslim Relief; The Mosque Foundation; the American Muslim Alliance (AMA); Baitulmaal; The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed); The Nation's Mosque.
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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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, email@example.com