WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today challenged GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to repudiate a top adviser, who spoke at the Republican convention and was considered as a vice presidential pick, for stating in an address to an anti-Muslim hate group that Islam is a "cancer" and not a real religion.
CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said that at an event Wednesday night in Texas hosted by the anti-Islam hate group ACT! For America, Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn likened Islam to "a cancer" and said the faith of 1.6 billion people worldwide "definitely hides behind being a religion."
SEE: Trump's Favorite General Doesn't View Islam as a Religion (Dallas Morning News)
"We challenge Donald Trump and Republican party leaders to repudiate the anti-Muslim bigotry of an individual who was on the short list of vice presidential candidates and was given a place of prominence at the GOP convention in Cleveland," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
McCaw noted that ACT! for America leader Hanah Kahwagi Tudor, who goes by the pseudonym "Brigitte Gabriel," says 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." When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Tudor said, "Absolutely."
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Brigitte Gabriel (ACT! for America)
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: ACT! For America
According to an expose of the group by The Tennessean newspaper, "ACT members see themselves as warriors in a clash between Western civilization and Islam."
Backgrounder: Anti-Islam Group Finds Fertile Ground in Nashville (Tennessean)
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has named "Brigitte Gabriel" as a member of the nation's "Anti-Muslim Inner Circle."
SPLC: Anti-Muslim Inner Circle
CAIR recently demanded that Donald Trump apologize for disparaging the parents of a Muslim who died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
SEE: CAIR Demands Apology from Donald Trump for Disparagement of Muslim Gold Star Family
The Washington-based civil rights organization has previously spoken out against Trump's apparent support for an Islamophobic town hall question and demanded that Trump "stop the bigotry" after he falsely claimed on Fox News that assimilation of American Muslims is "pretty close" to nonexistent and that a "percentage" of American Muslims "want to do what this maniac did in Orlando."
SEE: CAIR Says Donald Trump's 'Hibi-Jabis' Reply Endangers Muslim Women
Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump's continued use of a debunked myth about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig's blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.
SEE: CAIR Tells Donald Trump: 'Stop the Bigotry'
CAIR stated that Trump's pig's blood claim and other instances of his Islamophobic rhetoric, including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that "Islam hates us," his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since Trump's bigoted call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)