Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes McCain’s Rejection of Bigoted Pastors

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/23/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed Sen. John McCain’s decision to reject Ohio pastor Rod Parsley’s endorsement of his presidential bid.
CAIR yesterday applauded Senator McCain’s repudiation of Texas pastor John Hagee–who has made prejudiced comments about Muslims, Jews and other Christians–and called on the presumptive Republican nominee to take similar steps with Parsley.
SEE: CAIR Calls on McCain to Renounce Second Bigoted Pastor
SEE ALSO: Critics Tie McCain, Too, to Extremist Pastors
Referring to Parsley’s anti-Muslim diatribes McCain yesterday said, “I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn’t endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement.”
SEE: McCain Rejects Pastor’s Endorsement (Associated Press)
Parsley, pastor of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, Ohio has referred to Islam as an “anti-Christ religion” and has expressed support for “seeing this false religion [Islam] destroyed.” He also described Islam’s prophet Mohammed as “the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil.” McCain has previously praised Parsley, saying he is “one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide.”
SEE: McCain’s ‘Spiritual Guide’ Wants America to Destroy Islam
“Senator McCain’s decision to reject Parsley’s vile speech put the pastor’s bigotry back on the political sideline where it belongs,” said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “This was the right thing to do. We hope that McCain’s principled stance against bigoted political speech sets an example for others in this country to emulate.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, Tel: 202-384-8857, E-Mail:; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, Tel: 202-870-0166, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:


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