Californians to protest Dornan’s Islamophobia
On Friday, February 27, 2004, representatives of Los Angeles-area interfaith, Latino, Asian, and immigrant organizations will hold a news conference outside the Huntington Beach office of Republican congressional candidate Robert Dornan to protest what the groups say is his “hate-filled” rhetoric about Muslims, Arabs, immigrants, and other minorities. (Dornan is seeking election in California’s 46th congressional district.)
Friday, February 27, 2004, 10:30 a.m.
In front of Robert Dornan’s listed campaign office, 18851 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach, CA
Sabiha F. Khan, Communications Director, CAIR-LA, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334
News conference organizers say Dornan has a history of making Islamophobic remarks. In a recent Orange County Register article, Dornan cited his “Middle East” and “Islamic expertise” and said, “The dark side of Islam has been a problem for 1,400 years.” (12/5/03).
In December of 2001, Dornan criticized the father of John Walker Lindh, for letting Lindh “give up Jesus for a camel driver with nine wives.” (CNN, 12/14/01)
During the same broadcast, the host asked: “How could you actually as an elected official in a country that embraces separation of church and state make pro-Jesus Christ and anti-Islam statements?”
Dornan responded by saying: “Why? All you’ve heard is pro-Islamic statements for the last three months. It’s not wrong…you ought to study the two men. Study Jesus Christ, a man of peace, and study Mohammed, a man of war.” He went on to say that Islam urged people to “murder other camel drivers” and Muhammad said to “cut their throats”.
At a rally in March of 2003 at the Lincoln Memorial, it was reported that Dornan “denounced the Koran as ‘a book of war and terrorism’ and said that the Koran ‘must be rewritten’ and that passages seen as endorsing violence ‘must be expunged.'”
In a letter sent to Dornan, CAIR-LA requested that Dornan clarify whether these comments are indeed accurate and reflective of his views on Islam and Muslims.
“As reported, these Islamophobic remarks reflect a lack of understanding about Islam and Muslims,” said CAIR-LA Director of Governmental Relations Omar Zaki. “Such comments demonstrate an attempt to treat American Muslims as an outcast community.”
Zaki added that Islamophobic speech directed at the American Muslim community creates unnecessary division among Americans during a time when national unity is needed more than ever.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.