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CAIR Condemns Rahm Emanuel for Anti-Muslim ‘Sunnis and Shiites’ Trope, Says He is Unfit to Serve in Biden-Harris Administration

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/6/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,today condemned Rahm Emanuel for “demeaning and Islamophobic comments” the former Chicago mayor made about Sunni and Shia Muslims during election coverage on ABC News last night. 

While speaking live on air, Emanuel compared post-Trump relations between Republicans and Democrats to Shia and Sunni Muslims, saying: “It’s going to make the Sunnis and Shiites look like a very calm family gathering.”   

CAIR said the offensive comments represented another reason why Emanuel “should not be included in the Biden-Harris administration.” 

Video: Rahm Emanual’s Islamophobic Comment About Shia and Sunni Muslims    

Sunni and Shia are the two main branches of Islam, with followers coexisting peacefully across the world.   

SEE:  The Myth of the 1,400 year Sunni-Shia War  

In a statement, CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert S. McCaw said:   

“Rahm Emanuel’s comments about Muslims were demeaning, uninformed and Islamophobic. In America and abroad, Sunni and Shia Muslims live as neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members.   

“Emanuel’s Islamophobic comments show a fundamentally flawed understanding of the Muslim community and perpetuate the false and harmful anti-Muslim trope that Sunni and Shia Muslims cannot peacefully co-exist.   

“Emanuel should not misuse Islam to ‘spice up’ his political commentary. This remark is just one reason why Emanuel should not be included in the Biden-Harris administration, let alone in President Biden’s cabinet.” 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.          

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw,;CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,    

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