(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/21/11) –- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee to apologize for "inaccurate and offensive" comments about Islam and to meet with Muslim leaders to discuss growing Islamophobia in American society.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) made those requests after the Fox News host and possible 2012 presidential candidate falsely claimed that Muslims believe "Jesus Christ and all the people who follow him are a bunch of infidels who should be essentially obliterated."
In his recent "Fox and Friends" interview, Huckabee referred to Islam as the "antithesis of the gospel of Christ." He also seemed to compare Muslim prayer being allowed in a church to the showing of pornographic films.
"On this Presidents' Day, we ask Mike Huckabee -- a person who may again seek the highest office in the land -- to live up to the principles of tolerance and interfaith respect that make our nation great," saidCAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We urge Mr. Huckabee to do some research and to apologize for his inaccurate and offensive remarks."
He offered to arrange a meeting between Huckabee and national Muslim leaders to discuss misperceptions of Islam and the growing Islamophobia in American society.
Awad quoted the Quran to show that Muslims revere Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers to humankind and respect Christians and Jews as people who received divine revelation.
He said the Quran states: "Say: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is to Him that we surrender ourselves.'" (2:136)
Another verse in the Quran states: "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" (3:45)
The Quran shows Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)
"For Mr. Huckabee to falsely claim that Muslims regard all Christians as 'infidels,' a term used only by Hollywood 'B' movies directors, serves to divide our nation along religious lines," said Awad.
Awad noted that Glenn Beck, another Fox commentator, recently promoted the bizarre theory that Islam is a "vehicle" of Satan and that Muslim leaders in Egypt and Iran are trying to bring the Antichrist to Earth.
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com