Civil rights group asks Republicans to reject Islamophobia
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the Republican Party to repudiate GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum's call for profiling of American Muslims.
In a debate aired on CNN last night, Santorum was asked if he would support ethnic and religious profiling. CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the debate's moderator, asked Santorum: "So just to be precise, is it ethnic profiling, religious profiling, who would be profiled?"
"The folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes," replied Santorum. "Obviously Muslims would be someone you'd look at, absolutely."
Video: Rick Santorum Calls for Profiling of Muslims
In a statement released today, CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor said:
"Last night, Rick Santorum casually tossed aside every American's constitutional right to equal protection under the law in favor of discriminatory profiling of Muslims. Mr. Santorum's obvious lack of appreciation for the Constitution and for the rejection of profiling by top law enforcement experts raises reasonable questions about his ability to lead our multi-faith nation.
"The International Association of Chiefs of Police and other security specialists reject racial profiling. President Bush called it 'wrong.' In 2009, President Obama pledged to end the counterproductive practice.
"We remind Mr. Santorum that the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), a man of Middle Eastern heritage, would fit his 'profile.'
"It is time for all Republican presidential candidates to reject Islamophobic rhetoric. Just as past candidates have learned the folly of targeting other religious or ethnic minorities, serious presidential hopefuls must reject the use anti-Muslim smears and the exploitation of Islamophobia for cheap political gain."
CAIR also thanked another GOP presidential candidate, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, for rejecting profiling and refusing to sacrifice the rule of law.
A CAIR Legislative Fact Sheet states that profiling is unconstitutional, hinders anti-terrorism efforts and "diverts precious law enforcement resources away from investigations of individuals who have been linked to terrorist activity by specific and credible evidence."
SEE: CAIR Legislative Fact Sheet on Profiling
Earlier this year, Santorum called "Sharia," or Islamic principles, "evil." He told a group in New Hampshire: "We need to define it and say what it is. And it is evil." In a past "lecture on Islam," Santorum falsely claimed the Quran, Islam's revealed text, was written in "Islamic."
SEE: Santorum, GOP Continue Anti-Sharia Campaign
Last week, CAIR called on state and national GOP leaders to demand the resignation of a Tennessee lawmaker after he suggested in a radio interview that U.S. Muslims should "go back to where they came from" if they objected to his recent call for the removal of all Muslims serving in the military.
CAIR: TN GOP Rep. Tells Muslims to 'Go Back to Where They Came From'
A number of recent reports have documented the disturbing growth and promotion of Islamophobia in American society.
CAIR: Same Hate, New Target
Center for American Progress: Fear, Inc.
Southern Poverty Law Center: Jihad Against Islam
People for the American Way: The Right-Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism
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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations