Inhofe told Senate Armed Services Committee: 'I believe in racial and ethnic profiling'
OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to meet with representatives of that state's Muslim community to discuss comments he made yesterday in support of government profiling of Muslims.
In remarks made at the Senate Armed Services Committee review of the Fort Hood shootings, Sen. Inhofe said in reference to Muslims and Middle Easterners, "I believe in racial and ethnic profiling." Inhofe claimed that "all terrorists are Muslims or Middle Easterners between the ages 20 and 35" despite FBI statistics that show the vast majority of terror attacks on American soil have not been committed by Muslims. Inhofe himself noted that his state suffered one of the worst terror attacks in U.S. history, the destruction of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995, which was not carried out by Muslims.
CAIR Video: Sen. Inhofe - I Believe in Racial and Ethnic Profiling
SEE: Terrorist Incidents in the United States 1980-2005 (FBI)
In a 2003 advisory report, the Department of Justice stated that "racial profiling in law enforcement is not merely wrong, but also ineffective."
CAIR Fact Sheet: Racial, Religious & Ethnic Profiling
"It is disturbing to hear a member of the United States Senate suggest that entire religious and ethnic groups should automatically be considered terror suspects," said CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi. "Our nation's leaders have a duty not to exacerbate the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society."
He said a Gallup poll released yesterday showed that more than 4 in 10 Americans admit to anti-Muslim prejudice.
CAIR: Poll on Anti-Islam Bias Shows Need for U.S. Muslim Outreach
"By painting all Muslims and Middle Easterners as suspects, Senator Inhofe does a disservice to our nation and to its tradition of racial and religious diversity."
Hashmi added that CAIR-OK recently organized a successful town hall meeting that looked at the issue of religious and ethnic profiling of Muslims.
SEE: Video: CAIR-OK Town Hall on Profiling a Success
CAIR representatives nationwide have challenged calls for airport profiling of Muslims prompted by the failed Christmas Day attack on a plane landing in Detroit, Mich.
SEE: CAIR Video: Muslim Profiling at Airports? (CNN)
Video: Bill O'Reilly vs. CAIR Spokesman on Profiling
Just today, the Associated Press quoted a CAIR official expressing concern that a massive government sting operation against cigarette smugglers amounted to profiling because it apparently targeted Arab-Americans exclusively with advertisements in Arab-language newspapers.
SEE: ATF Stings Put 250M Illegal Cigarettes on Streets
A spate of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide is believed to be the result of incidents such as the attempted bombing in Detroit and the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas.
CAIR Video: Tenn. Muslims React to Vandalism
CAIR-Video: Threats Against Chicago Muslims on the Rise
Police Consider Torched Quran a Hate Crime (OC Register)
In December, CAIR called on President Obama to address what the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group called an "alarming level of anti-Islam hate in our nation."
SEE: CAIR Asks President to Address Rise in Anti-Islam Hate
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-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-415-6851 or 405-248-5853, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-OK Chair Michael Aziz Gipson, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-OK Operations Coordinator Huda Abdul-Razzak, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, 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