Press Releases

CAIR Says Arizona’s Rep. Paul Gosar Should Be Expelled from Congress After He Calls for Destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem 

(WASHINGTON, DC – 12/10/2020) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked for the expulsion of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from Congress after he called for the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque (Masjid Al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem. 

[NOTE: Al-Aqsa Mosque was the first prayer direction of early Muslims and remains one of holiest sites in Islam. Also, the House recently voted to censure Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments for posting a video on Twitter showing him attacking President Biden and killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Gosar is a controversial figure who has met with White nationalist and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes, touted baseless election conspiracy theories and claimed Jan. 6 insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt is a martyr who was “executed” by a police officer.] 

In a statement objecting to a recent United Nations resolution that used the Arabic name of the compound housing the mosque, “Haram al-Sharif,” Gosar said: “It remains an abomination that a mosque was allowed to be built over this temple. The United Nations should be finding ways to dismantle and move that mosque, which is an affront to all religions.” 

SEE: Gosar Objects to U.N. Effort to Remake Jewish Temple an Islamic Site

In response to Gosar’s call for the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:  

“There should be no room in Congress for those who incite religious violence and use Islamophobia as a tool to gain influence. Representative Gosar’s call for the destruction of an Islamic holy site may be just another attempt by a political extremist to gain cheap publicity, but he still must be expelled and repudiated by state and national Republican leaders in the same way that they should reject previous Islamophobic statements by members of their party nationwide. We must never normalize, ignore or excuse calls for religious or racial hatred and division.” 

Awad said Congress should react to Gosar’s remarks in the same way it would if a member called for the destruction of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Western Wall. 

“This disgusting call for the destruction of a house of worship is an insult to Arizona Muslims and to all others who value religious freedom and diversity,” said CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Azza Abuseif. 

She noted that just yesterday, CAIR-Arizona called on Arizona State University (ASU) and state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the burning of Islamic religious materials, including the Quran, in an interfaith prayer room. 

SEE: CAIR-Arizona Calls for Hate Crime Probe of ASU Vandalism Targeting Qurans in Interfaith Prayer Room 

Police investigate report of torn, burned Quran in prayer room at ASU campus library

CAIR and other organizations are supporting Rep. Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky’s Combating International Islamophobia Act (H.R. 5665) that would establish a special envoy office at the U.S. State Department to monitor and combat international Islamophobia. 

UPDATE – Now 53 Groups – CAIR Joins 48 Groups in Welcoming Thursday Markup of Islamophobia Envoy Bill, Urges Swift and Clean Approval by House Foreign Affairs Committee 

Boebert is not the exception. GOP’s institutionalised Islamophobia is the elephant in the room

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, 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.           

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CONTACT: CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Azza Abuseif,, 602-349-1573;CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530,; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280,