CAIR Pairs Gingrich and Bin Laden as Pushers of 'Islamophobia'
(CNSNews.com) - The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is accusing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—along with deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden—of “pushing Islamaphobia” in the United States.
A new report—“Same Hate, New Target: Islamaphobia and Its Impact in the United States, January 2009-December 2010”—published by CAIR and the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley listed “individuals, institutions and groups” that CAIR argues were “at the center of pushing Islamophobia in America during the period covered” by the report. Among those listed were Newt Gingrich—and Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
The report also lists “individuals, institutions and groups” that CAIR says made “outstanding contributions to pushing back against Islamophobic trends during the period covered” by the report. Among those listed in this group were Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and Keith Olbermann--whose “Countdown” program was formerly featured on MSNBC.
At a June 23 Washington, D.C. press conference discussing the report, CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor said: “Finally, Newt Gingrich, as [CAIR National Executive Director] Nihad [Awad] mentioned, consistently comparing Muslims to Nazis--this is somebody who has the status of the former Speaker of the House. So, this is not a fringe individual. This is someone who has gravitas, shall we say, who’s pushing Islamophobia.”
The report quotes Gingrich from an Aug. 16, 2010 appearance on the show Fox & Friends, saying, “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.”
The report also quotes Gingrich from the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 18, 2010.
“Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence,” Gingrich said. “But, in fact, they’re both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of sharia.”
The CAIR report further says that “such statements cast suspicion on any individual Muslim or Muslim institution in the United States as possibly having nefarious purposes.”
R.C. Hammond, spokesman for Gingrich’s 2012 Presidential campaign, issued the following statement to CNSNews.com in response to CAIR’s claims: “This morning’s [June 24] news about the arrest of two homegrown terrorists shows why we need a serious and sober national conversation about the threat from radical Islamism. Who are its adherents and what are their goals? Those who accuse anyone who talks about radical Islamism of denigrating all Muslims make this necessary conversation more difficult and all Americans--of all religions--less safe.”
CAIR’s Saylor also praised Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host Jon Stewart at the press conference.
“You can never say enough about Jon Stewart on this issue,” said Saylor. “He greatly said, you know, why does everybody think that Americans are divided, they are united from sea to shining sea on dislike of Muslims? Inject humor into it, but remind everybody about American values. American values are judge the individual, not an entire group based on stereotypes.”
In the report, CAIR said Jon Stewart uses “comedy to expose the absurd nature of much of the anti-Muslim sentiment in America” and “makes people laugh while delivering insightful comedy and mocking stereotypes.”
The report defines "Islamaphobia" as a "close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims" and an "Islamaphobe" as "an individual who holds a closed-minded view of Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims."
The introduction to the report says that it was “co-sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The Center for Race and Gender is responsible for the special sections on Park 51 and the 2010 election. CAIR is responsible for all other material in the report.”