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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2010
4:01 PM

CONTACT: Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR)

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,
202-488-8787, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com;
CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin,
202-488-8787, , E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

CAIR Asks Gingrich Not to Speak at Rally with Islam Hater

Presidential hopeful scheduled to appear with Dutch extremist who calls for ban on Quran

WASHINGTON - August 17 - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on former House Speaker and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich not to speak at a rally in opposition to a planned Islamic community center in New York City featuring an anti-Islam extremist who has called for a ban on the Quran, Islam's revealed text.

CAIR said Gingrich is scheduled to appear with anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders at the September 11 rally sponsored by the hate group Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which is led by individuals with long histories of promoting Islamophobia.

[NOTE: Other speakers scheduled to appear at the rally include Ginny Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, and controversial conservative activist Andrew Breitbart. SEE: http://tinyurl.com/2a3ghtd ]

Wilders has in the past called for banning the Quran, taxing Muslim women who wear Islamic head scarves, ending immigration from Muslim countries, and prohibiting the construction of new mosques. He has said, "I hate Islam" and has called Islam's Prophet Muhammad "the devil."

"Anyone who aspires to become president of the United States should not be seen lending support to hate-mongers and Islamophobes," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Muslim-bashing may score Mr. Gingrich some cheap political points in the current climate of anti-Islam hysteria, but if he occupied the white House, such associations would inevitably harm our nation's international image."

SEE: Newt Gingrich Compares Mosque to Nazis
CAIR: What Would Bush Do About the Ground Zero Mosque?
Experts Say Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Undermines Struggle Against Extremism
CAIR-FL: Fear-Mongering's at Its Bigoted Peak for Primaries
Conservative Muslim-Americans' Letter To GOP Leaders: Don't Bring Mosque Debate Into Elections

Hooper said SIOA's founder, Pamela Geller, has claimed that "Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam" and offered rhetorical support to both accused Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and slain Apartheid-era leader Eugene Terre'blanche.

SEE: How the "Ground Zero Mosque" Fear Mongering Began
Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever

She has posted images on her blog that include a photoshopped photograph of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform, another fake image of President Obama urinating on an American flag and drawings purporting to depict Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a pig. In a June 25 blog entry, Geller posted a video claiming that Muslims engage in bestiality.

SEE: Screen Shot of 'Muslim Bestiality' Post on Geller's Blog
CAIR Video: TV Host Exposes Pamela Geller's Anti-Muslim Bigotry
SIOA is an Anti-Muslim Hate Group
Fox Opens Its Airwaves to Anti-Muslim Activist Geller

SIOA co-founder Robert Spencer has called Islam's Prophet Muhammad a "con man." The independent national media watch group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) identified Spencer as one of "Islamophobia's Dirty Dozen" who systematically "spread fear, bigotry, and misinformation." In its report, FAIR said, "By selectively ignoring inconvenient Islamic texts and commentaries, Spencer concludes that Islam is innately extremist and violent."

SEE: FAIR Unmasks the Smearcasters - Robert Spencer

The United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease."

SIOA, Geller and Spencer are all affiliated with another anti-Islam hate group, American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the founder of which wrote: "[T]here are no innocent muslims. islam is subject to killing on grounds of political expediency on the same basis as islam kills its victims, and islam cannot ethically and morally claim otherwise." [Note: Grammatical errors in the original text have been maintained.]

SEE: SIOA Co-Founder: Kill Your Liberal Relatives and All Muslims

SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe called Stop the Islamization of Europe, which seeks to block the construction of mosques on that continent and "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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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