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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on Mayor Richard Meehan of Ocean City, Md., to reconsider his speaking invitation to retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who believes that “[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment” and that there should be “no mosques in America.” Boykin is scheduled to speak at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on January 26.
In a letter he emailed to Mayor Meehan, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper wrote in part:
“We question the appropriateness of this choice for an official event, given Boykin’s long, shameful history of extreme and bigoted views. . . It will be a discredit to your office and a disservice to the citizens of Ocean City if such a man is allowed to spread his divisive falsehoods and prejudiced ideas at a government-sponsored function.
“We respectfully ask whether any taxpayer funds are being spent on this year’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, and how your office plans to address the appearance of an official endorsement of Boykin’s extremist views. We ask that you reconsider inviting him, given that the biased ideas he espouses — though protected by the First Amendment — should be repudiated, not given a legitimizing platform.”
Boykin’s views came under scrutiny in 2003 when media reports revealed that in a public discussion of his efforts to capture a Muslim Somali warlord, Boykin said: “I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” Speaking in uniform, the general said America’s “spiritual enemy. . .will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.”
Since then, Boykin has continued to openly attack Islam and portray Muslims as a “threat,” even stating that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians. In September 2011, Boykin declared on the radio show Focal Point that there should be “no mosques in America.”