CAIR Welcomes Voters' Rejection of Islamophobic Candidates
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the rejection of Islamophobic candidates by voters nationwide.
In Florida, Rep. Allen West (R), who claims Islam is not a religion but is instead a "totalitarian theocratic political ideology" that is a "very vile and very vicious enemy," was defeated by a narrow margin.
SEE: Top House Islamophobe Allen West Falls
Also in Florida, State Representative Adam Hasner (R) was defeated in his bid for Congress. Hasner once co-hosted an event featuring Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders that was also sponsored by Anti-Muslim hate group leader Pamela Geller. In 2009, Hasner attempted to block a "Florida Muslim Capitol Day." In 2007, he sponsored a screening of the anti-Muslim film "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" for state legislators.
A third Florida anti-Muslim candidate, Terry Kemple, lost his bid for the Hillsborough County School Board. Kemple's main issue in the race was seeking to keep Muslim speakers out of local schools.
SEE: Anti-Muslim School Board Candidate Defeated in Florida
In Illinois, Rep. Joe Walsh (R) was defeated in his re-election bid. When a town hall meeting attendee told him that he was "looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam," Walsh left the door open for suspicion of every Muslim living in Illinois when he responded saying radical Islam is more of a threat "now that it was right after 9/11" and "It's here. It's in Elk Grove. It's in Addison. It's in Elgin. It's here."
In Arkansas, Rep. James McLean defeated Republican Charlie Fuqua, a candidate who advocated the deportation of all Muslims in a self-published book.
SEE: Arkansas Candidate Who Called for Deportation of Muslims Defeated
In Minnesota, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) lost his seat. Cravaack was a key supporter's of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) series of anti-Muslim hearings.
"These encouraging results clearly show that mainstream Americans reject anti-Muslim bigotry by candidates for public office and will demonstrate that rejection at the polls," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "This election witnessed an increased political awareness and mobilization effort among American Muslims that dealt a major blow to the Islamophobia machine."
Awad noted that Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann, who recently led a witch hunt against Muslims serving in the government, only retained her House seat by a very narrow margin.
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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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations