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CAIR Calls Priebus Remark About ‘Problematic’ Aspects of Islam, Refusal to Rule Out Muslim Registry More Examples of Trump Transition Team’s Islamophobia

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/20/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called remarks by incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus about “problematic†aspects of Islam and his refusal to rule out a “registry†for Muslims as more examples of the Islamophobia exhibited by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.

When asked on ABC about Trump’s appointment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and the general’s claim that “Islam is not a real religion, but a political ideology masked behind a religion,†Priebus said Flynn’s views are in line with those of the president-elect and added: “I mean, look, phrasing can always be done differently but clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic.â€

Video: Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus Says Aspects of Islam 'Problematic'

CAIR had called on President-elect Trump not to appoint retired Flynn as his national security adviser because of his history of anti-Muslim comments and associations. Flynn was later appointed to that position, despite calling Islam a “cancer,†claiming fear of Muslims is “rational†and being a current member of the board of advisers for the nation’s most virulent anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America.

SEE: CAIR Asks Trump Not to Appoint General Who Called Islam ‘a Cancer’ as National Security Adviser

On NBC's “Meet the Press,†Priebus refused to rule out a “registry for Muslims.†He said: “Look I'm not going to rule out anything.â€

Video: Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus Refuses to Rule Out Muslim 'Registry'

Donald Trump's Alleged Muslim Registry Plan Draws Flak

“Our nation is not served by the denigration of Islam or by the introduction of ineffective and discriminatory policies targeting Muslims,†said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.

On Friday, CAIR expressed concern about a “troubling Islamophobic trend†in President-elect Donald Trump’s recent appointments and nominations including Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for the post of attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA.

SEE: CAIR Concerned About ‘Troubling Islamophobic Trend’ Following Trump’s Nomination of Sessions, Pompeo

CAIR: Muslims Are Outraged Over Trump's Cabinet Picks

Trump’s Security Picks Deepen Muslim Worries about an Anti-Islamic White House (Washington Post)

CAIR: Trump's Staff Picks Disappoint, Alarm Minority Groups (AP)

CAIR also decried the appointment of anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and White nationalist “alt-right†extremist Stephen Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.

CAIR Decries Appointment of Islamophobe, White Nationalist Bannon as Top Trump Strategist

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is monitoring a troubling spike in anti-Muslim and racist incidents since the November 8 election.

Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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