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Washington, U.S.A. — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to clarify his decision to meet privately with a key figure in the Islamophobia movement, retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin.
Boykin asserts that “[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment,” that there should be “no mosques in America” and that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians. In 2003, President Bush rebuked Boykin for his anti-Muslim stance.
Earlier this year, Boykin’s extreme viewpoints resulted in him withdrawing from a prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. CAIR and VoteVets.org, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, had both asked the academy to retract the invitation because of Boykin’s Islamophobic views.
“Romney would rightfully never meet with an anti-Semite or white supremacist, so why would he meet with an infamous Islamophobe?” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor.
Saylor added that Boykin’s extremist views are well-documented and called on the Romney campaign to explain either why Boykin was not vetted or why a decision was made to have the candidate meet with a key figure in the domestic Islamophobia movement.
CAIR has been challenging Boykin’s un-American bigotry for a number of years.
CAIR and People For the American Way objected to a speech Boykin gave to a mayor’s prayer breakfast in Maryland. Hundreds of people contacted city officials to protest Boykin’s appearance.
CAIR last year asked Romney to drop Walid Phares, a newly-appointed advisor on Middle East affairs, because he is a “former official” of a group implicated in the 1982 massacre of civilian men, women and children at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.
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.
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore