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CAIR: Rep. King Asked to Clarify Support from Anti-Islam Hate Group
WASHINGTON - March 8 - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to clarify the extent of support and advice he has received from a notorious anti-Islam hate group.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued that call after Brigitte Gabriel, national leader of the hate group ACT! for America, told a reporter with Think Progress that "we are working with Congressman Peter King."
"Over the past year, we have seen a very disturbing rise in the level of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide, which we believe is fueled to a large degree by hate groups such as ACT! for America," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Given the fact that he is about to begin hearings on alleged Muslim 'radicalization,' Representative King should clarify the level of advice and support he has received from ACT! for America, Brigitte Gabriel or other Islamophobes."
Hooper noted that King was forced to drop two professional Islamophobes, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Walid Phares, from his witness list after their extremist views and past associations were revealed. (Ali once suggested that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to allow for discrimination against Muslims. Phares is a former official with a Christian militia implicated in the 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.)
According to an expose of Gabriel and her group published today in the New York Times:
"Through her books, media appearances and speeches, and her organization, ACT! for America, Ms. Gabriel has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders ... [Rep. Peter] King was the first guest last month on a new cable television show that Ms. Gabriel co-hosts."
The New York Times also stated: "[Gabriel] presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion."
SEE: Brigitte Gabriel Draws Crowds in U.S. With Anti-Islam Message (NY Times)
Another expose of Gabriel's hate group published today on Politico.com quoted an Arab-American activist who said: "The idea that congressional staffers would agree to meet an organization led by a woman whose agenda is pure unadulterated hatred and whose purported life story is a laughable fiction -- it's sad."
SEE: Anti-Islamic Groups Go Mainstream (Politico)
[MEDIA NOTE: On Wednesday, March 9, a coalition of Muslim, interfaith and civil rights groups will hold a 10:30 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to challenge misinformation that may be repeated in the first of a series of hearings on Muslim "radicalization" to be held Thursday by Rep. Peter King (R-NY). CAIR will also provide real-time Twitter commentary on Thursday's hearing at @CAIRNational. Tune in to the conversation at #KingHearings. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern) on March 10. CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: email@example.com]
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In the past, Gabriel has claimed an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." She once told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word ... it's the vehicle for Islam ... Islam is the problem."
When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said: "Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
Gabriel stated: "America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam."
Along with her stated desire to have Muslims barred from public office, Gabriel has also claimed that Arabs "have no soul" and that Muslims worship "something they call 'Allah,' which is very different from the God we believe [in]."
Last year, a person staffing an ACT! for America information table in Florida was caught on video bragging that he desecrated the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.
That person states: "Their foot baths, I love pissing in them ... The Quran makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit ... To me, I like desecrating their [Muslims'] holy stuff."
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.