WASHINGTON D.C. (8/24/05) A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy organization today condemned remarks made by Christian televangelist Pat Robertson advocating the assassination of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. In addition to his advocating assassination, Robertson falsely claimed that Venezuela is now “a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.”
“He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy and he is going to make that a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent,” Robertson told his viewers on his ‘The 700 Club’ show Monday.
He continued to say that: “… If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it…”
In a statement today, CAIR said:
“True to form, Pat Robertson has crossed the line yet again. Not only has he advocated violating federal law and international treaties by calling for the assassination of a head of state, he somehow manages to show his clear hatred of Muslims by stating that somehow Islam is involved in the whole Venezuela issue.
“It is irresponsible that such comments are coming from someone who self-righteously claims to have a high religious position. American religious leaders should be a voice of moderation and peace, not a voice of hatred and violence. America’s image is damaged by such inciting and irresponsible rhetoric, at a time when we are trying to demand that other countries challenge their own religious extremists.
“We call on all religious and political leaders to project true American values of tolerance and pluralism by condemning Robertson and his hate speech.”
Robertson has a long history of Islamophobic remarks. In 2002, he was quoted as saying that Islam “is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy.” As recently as May 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported him as saying that he would be wary of appointing Muslims to top positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 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.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
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