(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/18/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on presidential candidate John McCain to repudiate remarks seemingly made on his behalf by a GOP spokesman during a campaign call in Florida.
On a conference call with journalists arranged by the Republican Party of Florida, Bud Day reportedly said: “The Muslims have said either we kneel or they’re going to kill us… I don’t intend to kneel and I don’t advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn’t advocate to anybody that we kneel.”
SEE: McCain Surrogate Makes Controversial Muslim Comment (CNN)
SEE: McCain POW Bud: Muslims ‘Going to Kill Us’ (Miami Herald)
This statement contradicts McCain’s earlier message of inclusion, which he demonstrated when he rejected the endorsement of Ohio Pastor Rod Parsley, who had referred to Islam as an “anti-Christ religion.” The candidate also rebuffed the support of Pastor John Hagee after Hagee’s prejudiced comments about Muslims, Jews and other Christians came under public scrutiny.
SEE: CAIR Welcomes McCain’s Rejection of Bigoted Pastors
About Parsley’s hateful rhetoric, McCain said: “I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he [Parsley] endorsed me, and I didn’t endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement.”
SEE: John McCain: Constitution Established a ‘Christian Nation’
SEE ALSO: McCain Changes Tone on Other Pastor?
“Mr. Day’s distorted view dismisses the vast majority of Muslims who stand with our nation to fight extremists and anti-American forces,” said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “Senator McCain needs to make it clear that he does not support such a divisive position and that his campaign respects all Americans.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, Tel: 202-870-0166, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org