(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 12/23/08) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called for a “clarification” from the president of the New Jersey Press Association, who wrote in an editorial that he believes Islam is an “internal” threat to the United States and seemed to support the exclusion of Muslims from American society.
In his editorial, headlined “Keep the Muslims Out?” and published in the Cape May County Herald, Art Hall wrote: “The internal-external threat is like no other we have ever faced. It is from Islam. While Christianity preaches peace, the Quran preaches conquest by force of arms…We were and are both a democratic and Christian nation in our fundamental structure. If we desire for America to remain thus, we must first recognize the current threats, and then develop the will to stand against those who are undermining them, those who detest what we cherish.”
Hall, who is publisher of the Cape May County Herald, also seemed to support the views of one of Europe’s leading anti-Muslim ideologues, Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wilders has called for banning the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, in the Netherlands. Wilders has been quoted as saying: “I’ve had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; let not one more Muslim immigrate…I’ve had enough of the Quran in the Netherlands: Forbid that fascist book.” (Associated Press, 6/30/08)
SEE: Keep the Muslims Out?
SEE ALSO: Officers of the New Jersey Press Association
“In his editorial, Mr. Hall labels Islam and American Muslims as an ‘internal’ threat, seems to indicate that America is an exclusively ‘Christian’ nation and promotes the intolerant views of one of Europe’s leading Islamophobes,” said CAIR-NJ Public Relations Director Afsheen Shamsi. “As someone who holds responsible positions as both a newspaper publisher and head of the New Jersey Press Association, Mr. Hall should offer a clarification of these disturbing remarks and a right of reply for the American Muslim community.”
Shamsi noted that CAIR has produced a publication, called “American Muslims: A Journalist’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims,” to media professionals. CAIR’s guide offers journalists the tools needed to gain a better understanding of Islam and to write accurate and balanced stories about Muslims. The guide also includes background information on issues related to Islam and Muslims, best practices for reporting on the American Muslim community and definitions of terminology often used in news stories or editorials.
Media professionals may request a free copy of CAIR’s journalist guide through the group’s “Beyond Stereotypes” website.
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.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Public Relations Director Afsheen Shamsi, 908-938-5990, E-Mail: email@example.com; 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