The Council on American Islamic Relations, a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has issued a statement asking John McCain and his supporters to stop using terms such as “radical Islam,” “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic extremism.” According to the statement:
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Sen. McCain and his supporters have in the past used rhetoric that many American Muslims believe serves to marginalize religious minorities, particularly Muslims. In a recent campaign speech, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said McCain would make decisions based on “Judeo-Christian values.” Last fall, McCain stated that America was “founded primarily on Christian principles” and that he would not be comfortable with a Muslim in the White House. [McCain later said: “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values.”]In his speeches, McCain often refers to “radical Islam,” “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic extremism,” rhetoric that has been questioned by mainstream American Muslim groups, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Earlier this year, a McCain surrogate in Florida defended the Iraq war by saying, “the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they’re going to kill us.” The McCain campaign responded by stating: “The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism.” McCain also distanced himself from two Christian leaders who made prejudiced comments about Muslims and other religious minorities.
The statement goes on to detail remarks on this topic by CAIR leader Nihad Awad:
“We urge Senator McCain and Governor Palin to offer inclusive speeches at this week’s Republican convention and ask that they both avoid divisive Islamophobic rhetoric. It is all too easy to use hot-button terms to garner votes, but true leaders do not exploit fear or stereotypes for political gain. We hope to hear Senator McCain and Governor Palin say they will defend the civil and religious rights of all Americans, work with the American Muslim community in making our nation both free and secure and help build better relations with the Islamic world.” He suggested that McCain and Palin reflect the Republican Party Platform, which states: “The struggle in which we are engaged is ideological, not ethnic or religious. The extremists we face are abusers of faith, not its champions. We appreciate the loyalty of all Americans whose family roots lie in the Middle East, and we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of American Arabs and Muslims, especially those in the Armed Forces and the intelligence community.” Awad added that Muslims have called on candidates of all political parties to reject Islamophobia and believe using phrases such as “Islamic terrorism” may unintentionally provide religious legitimacy to terrorists.
CAIR has it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and is an integral part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and has a long history of support for fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Reframing the terrorism discussion is part of the strategy of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. An earlier post discussed a DHS memo and the role of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in its creation.