Press Releases

CAIR Asks Elected Officials on Holocaust Council to Repudiate Bigotry

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


CAIR urges members of Congress to help ‘expedite’ Dennis Prager’s removal

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/18/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on elected officials who are members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to repudiate “bigoted remarks” by Dennis Prager, a fellow council member. (Ten members of Congress serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which is meeting today.)

Prager has written that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should be prevented from taking his oath of office using the Quran, Islam’s revealed text. He also wrote that swearing an oath on the Quran “undermines American civilization.”

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had previously called on President Bush to rescind Prager’s appointment to the council, the governing board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, because of his intolerant views toward Islam in American society. CAIR had also called on the museum’s council to remove Prager from his post because his views are incompatible with the mission of that taxpayer-funded institution.

Since coming out against Prager’s appointment to the council, CAIR has received hundreds of hate-filled e-mails from Prager’s supporters.

Two members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council have already spoken out against Prager’s intolerant remarks.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) said Prager’s comments were “inappropriate, incorrect and reflect a lack of the qualities of tolerance and civility, and respect for other people’s religion.” Former New York City Mayor and current council member Edward Koch said, “There is no question that Dennis Prager is a bigot who ought to be repudiated even by his closest supporters.”

In a letter to council members Reps. Christopher Cannon (R-UT), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH), and Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor wrote:

“I am writing you in your role as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to respectfully ask that you join those who are condemning the bigoted remarks of council member Dennis Prager. I also ask that you take action to expedite his removal from the council. . .The United States Holocaust Memorial is an important reminder of where indifference to intolerant and misinformed comments can lead.”

Saylor’s letter included published comments from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee condemning Prager’s remarks. The letter also supported Prager’s right to free speech, but said a presidential appointee to a taxpayer-funded institution must be held to a higher standard.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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 National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 571-278-4658, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833


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