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CAIR Welcomes Catholic Group’s Decision to Drop Islamophobic Speaker

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/31/13) — The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today applauded a decision by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Mass., to rescind an invitation to Robert Spencer, the leader of a designated anti-Islam hate group, to speak at a Catholic men's conference this March.

 

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Spencer's invitation to speak at the Catholic conference was rescinded after Muslims in Massachusetts contacted the diocese to express their concerns about his extremist anti-Islam views.

 

SEE: Catholic Event Cancels Talk by Islam Critic (Boston Globe)

Catholic Diocese Boots Anti-Muslim Speaker (Salon)

 

At least one Catholic commentator joined CAIR in welcoming the cancelation.

 

SEE: A Speaker Cancellation to Applaud (National Catholic Reporter)

 

“We applaud the diocese's decision to withdraw its invitation to a person who is viewed by many as one of the nation's most notorious purveyors of anti-Islam hate,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

 

Hooper noted that “Fear, Inc.,” a report by the Center for American Progress, revealed that ” cited Robert Spencer, one of the anti-Muslim misinformation scholars we profile in this report, and his blog, Jihad Watch, 162 times in his manifesto.” Breivik is currently on trial for mass murder in Norway.

 

Spencer is a co-founder of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Spencer's Jihad Watch blog is also designated as a hate group by the SPLC, which named Spencer as part of the nation's “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.”

 

Last year, a prominent New York law firm canceled an event featuring Spencer. The event would have promoted Spencer's claim that Islam's Prophet Muhammad may never have existed.

 

The independent national media watch group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) identified Spencer as one of “Islamophobia's Dirty Dozen” who systematically “spread fear, bigotry, and misinformation.”

 

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.

 

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, arubin@cair.com

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