For Immediate Release
CAIR Welcomes President Obama's Prayer Breakfast Remarks on Islam, Urges Visit to U.S. Mosque
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed President Obama's remarks yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast in which he stated that terrorists who "professed to stand up for Islam. . .in fact are betraying it."
He also described the terrorist group ISIS as "a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism."
The president added:
"Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
Those remarks drew criticism from many conservative political opponents.
“We thank President Obama for clearly separating the brutal actions of ISIS from the faith of Islam and for reminding us all that violence and injustice are not part of any faith,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
He repeated the call by American Muslim leaders urging President Obama to visit a U.S. mosque.
“We invite the president to show public support for American Muslims by making the symbolic but significant gesture of visiting an American mosque in this time of growing Islamophobia,” said Awad.
Awad noted that CAIR and other American Muslim groups have repeatedly condemned the violent actions of ISIS as "anti-Islamic."
Video: Excerpts From CAIR News Conference Condemning ISIS's Killing of Jordanian Pilot
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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.