Press Releases

VA Rep Asked to Apologize for Anti-Muslim Remarks

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Rep. Goode slams Quran, election of Muslims, growth of U.S. Islamic community

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/19/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tonight called on Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks he made in a recent letter to a constituent.

Goode’s letter to the head of the local Sierra Club chapter slammed the planned use of a Quran for the ceremonial swearing-in of Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. (No religious texts of any kind are used for the official swearing-in ceremony.)

“I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way,” wrote Goode. “The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

Goode also decried the growth of the American Muslim community. He wrote, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America.” (Keith Ellison has traced his family’s roots in America to the year 1742.)

SEE: Anti-Muslim Letter Goes Out to Hundreds – Not All are Amused

“Representative Goode’s Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry.”

Saylor said Goode should apologize for his remarks and offered to arrange a meeting between the congressman and members of the Muslim community in his district.

The controversy over Representative-elect Ellison’s use of the Quran for the ceremonial oath began with a recent commentary by Dennis Prager, a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, in which he wrote that swearing an oath on the Quran “undermines American civilization.” CAIR has asked that Prager be removed from the taxpayer-supported council.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 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, 571-278-4658, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


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


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