Press Releases

CAIR Decries U.S. Cardinal’s Islamophobic Claim that Resisting Muslim Immigration is ‘Responsible,’ Citing of Debunked ‘No Go Zone’ Myth

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/23/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concern about remarks by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke smearing Islam and opposing Muslim immigration based on a debunked Islamophobic “no go zone” conspiracy theory.

At the Roman Life Forum last week, Cardinal Burke stated that “to resist large scale Muslim immigration, in my judgement, is to be responsible” and that Islam “believes itself to be destined to rule the world.” He also repeated the discredited conspiracy theory that there are “no go zones” in the United States where “Muslim immigrants have set up their own legal order, in other words they resist the legitimate authority of the state.”

WATCH: U.S. Cardinal Says Resisting Muslim Immigration is ‘Responsible,’ Smears Islam, Cites Islamophobic ‘No Go Zone’ Myth

“It is sad that Cardinal Burke is using his platform and position as a religious leader not to promote interfaith peace and understanding but to smear Islam and promote debunked conspiracy theories,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The Cardinal’s remarks fly in the face of a long history of interreligious dialogue and respect between the Catholic and Muslim communities.”

Hooper noted that Cardinal Burke is recommending that Muslims suffer the same type of stereotypes and bias once used to target Catholic immigrants to America.

In 1985, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that Muslims and Christians believe in the same God, the God of Abraham, while addressing a group of Moroccan youth. He said:

Christians and Muslims, we have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a very model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings His creatures to their perfection.”

SEE: Address of His Holiness John Paul II to Young Muslims

In 2015, Pope Francis tweeted, “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters, and we must act as such.”

SEE: Pope Francis Tweet

Earlier this month, the Vatican released a Ramadan message wishing Muslims a peaceful and fruitful celebration of the holy month.

SEE: Message for the Month of Ramadan and ”˜Id Al-Fitr 2019

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 Department Director Robert S. McCaw, 202-742-6448,; National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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