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U.S. Leaders Asked To Repudiate Televangelist’s Anti-Islam Remarks

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. LEADERS ASKED TO REPUDIATE TELEVANGELIST’S ANTI-ISLAM REMARKS
Pat Robertson says Islam seeks ‘world domination,’ Islam ‘not a religion of peace’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/14/2006) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on mainstream American political and religious leaders to repudiate the most recent Islamophibic remarks by televangelist Pat Robertson, who claimed yesterday that the goal of Islam “is world domination.”

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says Robertson made that claim and other anti-Muslim remarks on his Christian Broadcasting Network “700 Club” program. He told his audience: “Islam is not a religion of peace,” and “The goal of Islam, ladies and gentlemen whether you like it or not, is world domination.” He also referred to some Muslims as being motivated by “demonic power.” SEE: Top US Evangelist Targets Islam (BBC), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4805952.stm

In the past, Robertson has repeatedly defamed Islam and Muslims on the “700 Club” program. He called Islam the “religion of the slavers” and said Americans who converted to Islam exhibited “insanity.” Robertson once said he would be wary of appointing Muslims to positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.

During a 2002 appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” program, Robertson smeared both Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. About Muhammad, Robertson said: “This man was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they’re carrying out Islam…I mean, this man (Muhammad) was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent.” Robertson also called Islam “a monumental scam.”

“The failure by mainstream religious and political leaders to challenge Mr. Robertson’s Islamophobic remarks will send the false message to Muslims worldwide that the majority of Americans agree with his hate-filled views,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The constant, and largely unchallenged, drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric is poisoning the public’s attitude toward ordinary American Muslims.”

He cited two recent polls showing that almost half of Americans have a negative perception of Islam and that one in four of those surveyed have “extreme” anti-Muslim views. The Washington Post’s report on the poll findings quoted experts who say negative attitudes about Islam are “fueled in part by political statements and media reports that focus almost solely on the actions of Muslim extremists.” SEE: Two New Polls Show Negative Image of Islam in U.S., http://cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2047&theType=NR

Awad noted that just today, a commentator regarded by many Muslims as one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes published a syndicated column stating that all Muslims should be considered “potential killers.” Daniel Pipes wrote in today’s New York Sun newspaper that “normal-appearing Muslims” may become violent at any time, leading to the “legitimate consequence of casting suspicion on all Muslims.”

Those claims promoted readers of a virulent anti-Muslim Internet hate site to write comments such as: “Until the leadership of the West accepts ‘reality’ that Islam is a totalitarian regime that must be exterminated (if we are to live free) then we will continue to get the atrocity of the day. . .Is genocide in the name of freedom wrong or just the law of nature red in tooth and claw.” SEE: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/010593.php#c189190

“Islamophobic rhetoric inevitably translates into acts of bias, discrimination and even violence against Muslims,” said Awad. He cited recent bombings at an Ohio mosque, the sentencing of a New York man for e-mailed death threats targeting Michigan Muslims and hate attacks on Muslim students at a Canadian University.

SEE: N.Y. Man Sentenced for E-Mail Threats (Detroit News)
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060313/UPDATE/603130413

SEE ALSO: Hate Attacks Rock Campus
http://www.thevarsity.ca/media/paper285/news/2006/03/13/News/Hate-Attacks.Rock.Campus-1685079.shtml

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates 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: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

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CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

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