The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today called on Malcolm Hoenlein, director of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, to step down from his
post following revelations that he made anti-Muslim comments to an Israeli
In an interview with Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Hoenlein seemed to indicate
that he viewed the growth of the Muslim community in America as a threat.
Hoenlein said: “Europe is the current Moslem battlefield, but America is
their ultimate goal. There are already 10 Moslem schools in New York, and
my feeling is that despite growing post-9/11 awareness, there is still a
degree of naivetÃ© among Americans. I warned against the growing US Moslem
community 10 years ago, but nobody understood it then. It is estimated that
there are currently around 10 million Moslems in the US illegally and the
authorities are finding it very difficult to find them. It’s like a game of
cat and mouse.”
“These bigoted and inflammatory remarks, which label all American Muslims
as a threat to our nation, are unworthy of a person who represents a
community that has itself been persecuted because of such hate-filled
stereotypes,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Mr. Hoenlein must
either disavow the quoted statements, or he should immediately step down
from his leadership post.”
Awad said failure to remove Hoenlein from his position would indicate that
Islamophobic propaganda is accepted by the organizations he represents.
“Interfaith leaders and elected officials must repudiate Mr. Hoenlein’s
remark for giving aid and comfort to hate-mongers. Religious freedom and
ethnic diversity helped make America what it is today. Voices of division
must be condemned by all people of goodwill.” said Awad.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
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