(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/14/08) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today expressed concern about what it termed an apparent “religious litmus test” for public office being promoted by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT).
In a campaign speech for GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Michigan, Lieberman said McCain would make decisions based on “Judeo-Christian values.”
SEE: Lieberman praises McCain at Holocaust Center (Detroit Free Press)
SEE ALSO: Lieberman: Obama Has Not Always Put Country First
“In his remarks, Senator Lieberman came very close to applying a religious litmus test for public office,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter. “This type of divisive rhetoric is inappropriate and un-American, and only serves to marginalize religious minorities.”
Walid noted that last fall, McCain stated that America is a “Christian” nation and that he would not be comfortable with a Muslim in the White House.
SEE: McCain Casts Muslims as Less Fit to Lead (NY Times)
McCain later said: “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values.”
Last week, CAIR said the resignation of a recently-appointed Muslim community liaison for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was symptomatic of a nationwide effort to deny Muslims access to the political process.
SEE: Muslim’s Resignation Part of Marginalization Campaign
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 Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857; CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-559-2247, 248-842-1418; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com