Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Wash. State Mayor’s Boycott of Event with Islamophobe Jerry Boykin

Vancouver-Mayor-Tim-Leavitt(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/15/14) — The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today announced that Vancouver, Wash., Mayor Tim Leavitt has decided to “boycott” the Clark County 13th annual Mayors' and Civic Leaders' Prayer Breakfast to be held October 17 in that city due to the scheduled appearance of notorious anti-Muslim bigot retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin as keynote speaker at the event.

[NOTE: CAIR today launched a new website, islamophobia.org, offering background information on Islamophobes like Boykin.

In a statement, Mayor Leavitt said:

“t is apparent to me that the values and beliefs of the keynote speaker are not consistent with the original vision of this event. In fact, I'm certain that Lt. General Boykin's position on a number of social, political and religious issues does not at all reflect the values of acceptance, tolerance and compassion our community strives for. … I encourage others, including the event sponsors, to carefully consider their attendance and support.” 

“We welcome Mayor Leavitt's boycott of this event and expect other civic and religious leaders to see to it that the organizers drop Boykin as a speaker,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.

The Clark County Family YMCA, one of the event's sponsors, also voted against keeping Boykin as a speaker and issued a statement distancing the group from Boykin's Islamophobia.

That statement said in part: “In recent days statements made by the speaker have come to our attention that detract from the purpose and mission of the prayer breakfast. Therefore the YMCA does not support bringing this speaker to the Clark County Mayors' and Civic Leaders' Prayer Breakfast.”

SEE: Prayer Breakfast Planners to Keep Controversial Speaker (Columbian)

Earlier this week, CAIR issued an action alert calling on people of conscience to contact the event organizers and ask them to drop Boykin as a speaker.

Boykin's extreme viewpoints resulted in his withdrawal from a similar prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

CAIR: Islam Critic Backs Out of West Point Cadet Event (AP)
General Withdraws From West Point Talk (NY Times)
Islamophobic General has Withdrawn from Prayer Breakfast

Boykin recently said “Americans need to have more babies and populate this country with red-blooded patriotic Americans” to counteract the population growth of American Muslims.

Boykin asserts that ” should not be protected under the First Amendment,” that there should be “no mosques in America” and that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians. In 2003, President Bush rebuked Boykin for his anti-Muslim stance. In 2009, Boykin said “there is no greater threat to America than Islam.” 

Jerry Boykin: Romney's Anti-Muslim General (Salon)
Boykin: Islam “Should Not Be Protected Under the First Amendment”
Boykin: “No Mosques in America”
William G. 'Jerry' Boykin, Former Army Officer, Hired By Family Research Council
Bush Says He Disagrees With General's Remarks on Religion

The former general has also made comments viewed as anti-Semitic by many. He derided pastors who are “destroying the efforts … to lead Jews to Christ,” and said, “The Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.”

Rightwing Ex-General: 'Jews Are The Problem'

CAIR has been challenging Boykin's un-American bigotry for a number of years.

CAIR and People For the American Way objected to a speech Boykin gave to a mayor's prayer breakfast in Maryland. Hundreds of people contacted city officials to protest Boykin's appearance.

CAIR: An Army Officer, Years On, Still a Lightning Rod (Wash. Post)
Editorial: Religious Bigotry in Ocean City? (Baltimore Sun)

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-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, arubin@cair.com

 

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