(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/10/08) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Republican leaders, including President Bush, to repudiate comments by an Iowa GOP congressman.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a local newspaper: “The radical Islamists, the al-Qaida…would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.” He said he based his remarks on Obama’s stance on the Iraq war, his Kenyan heritage and his middle name, Hussein.
During a subsequent interview, King said: “His [Obama’s] middle name is the name of the grandson of Mohammad. It’s used many, many times throughout the Muslim world and it associates itself with the religion and with the heritage and with the struggle and with some of the violence that’s over there as well.”
SEE: King Stands by Comments About Obama, Terrorists
In a statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
“The fact that one little-known Republic congressman holds bigoted views is less important than the fact that leaders of his party remain silent as one of their own exploits the growing Islamophobia in our society to score cheap political points. We call on GOP leaders, including President Bush, to repudiate Congressman King’s divisive and counterproductive remarks.”
Republican presidential candidate John McCain distanced himself from King’s remarks.
SEE: Steve King: ‘I Reject McCain’s Disavowal’ of Me
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 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 Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: email@example.com