NEW YORK, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called recent comments about Muslims by New York Governor David Paterson "grossly misinformed."
In remarks about the developers of the planned Park51 community center in Manhattan, Paterson said: "This group who has put this mosque together, they are known as the Sufi Muslims. This is not like the Shiites. . .They're almost like a hybrid, almost westernized. They are not really what I would classify in the sort of mainland Muslim practice."
SEE: Paterson: Mosque Developers 'Hybrid, Almost Westernized' Muslims
"For the governor to draw a comparison between Muslims and to make comments that are grounded in nothing but ignorance is abhorrent. Shi'a Muslims work hard, live their lives in a lawful fashion and are as much American as anyone else," Syed Meesam Razvi, representative to ECOSOC of United Nations, Al-Khoei Foundation.
"Governor Paterson's comments are grossly misinformed and will be used to support the false notion that mainstream Muslims are somehow incapable of being productive citizens," said CAIR-NY's Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali. "Responsible leaders should refrain from mainstreaming misinformation about Islam and instead reach out to the Muslim community and its leaders. Of particular concern is the governor's derogatory description of Shia Muslims."
She urged Governor Paterson to sit down with representatives of the state's Muslim community to discuss the anti-Islam hysteria generated by the Park51 controversy.
Ali also reiterated CAIR-NY's request that the governor repudiate any insinuation of collective guilt by standing up for the right of Muslim New Yorkers to build a house of worship anywhere in the state.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties group. 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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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002, 718-724-3041, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002, 732-429-4268, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations