Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, July 2011
Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Calls for Ban on Mosques in the US, Video
CAIR: GOP Must Repudiate Cain's Remarks on Mosque Ban
Herman Cain Says U.S. Communities 'Have the Right' to Ban Mosques Fox, 7/17/11
Presidential candidate Herman Cain on Sunday defended his opposition to a new mosque in Tennessee, expressing concern about Shariah law and declaring Americans "have the right" to ban mosques in their communities.
Cain, who stirred controversy this year by saying he would be uncomfortable appointing a Muslim to his Cabinet if elected, first expressed concern Thursday about the controversial mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. That mosque has been the subject of demonstrations and legal challenges in the wake of the controversy over the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" in New York City.
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Cain said he came out against the Tennessee mosque after talking to members of that community. He said the site is "hallowed ground" to Murfreesboro residents and that they're concerned about "the intentions of trying to get Shariah law" -- the code governing conduct in Islamic societies.
"It's not just a mosque for religious purposes. This is what the people are objecting to," he said.
Asked whether any community should be able to prohibit a mosque, Cain said they should. . .
The Council on American-Islamic Relations. . .said Sunday that he should "apologize" for his latest remarks.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, describing Cain's stance on the Tennessee mosque as a possible "sign of desperation," said other Republican candidates and leaders should also distance themselves from that kind of rhetoric.
"It's incumbent on reasonable people within the Republican Party to come out strongly and repudiate these kinds of un-American unconstitutional views," he said. "It's just so bizarre."
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Muslim community saddened by Cain's remarks
MURFEESBORO — Local Muslims, already having endured inflammatory accusations about them, say they are under attack again — this time from GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
Cain reignited controversy with the Muslim community in comments to reporters following a campaign appearance on Murfreesboro's Public Square on Thursday.
Asked what he thought of plans to build an Islamic mosque here, Cain said: "I think it is an infringement and abuse of our freedom of religion, and I don't agree with what's happening here because this isn't an innocent mosque."
He added, "This is another way to sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that."
Saleh Sbenaty, a member of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's planning committee and an MTSU professor, was saddened by the remarks.
"It's really sad to hear those words coming out from a GOP candidate who not only suppose to believe in but uphold the US Constitution," Sbenaty said.
He said Cain shouldn't be making blanket statements without even reaching out to the Muslim community in Murfreesboro.
"Of course, it is hurtful especially because we feel he did not listen to both sides," Sbenaty said, "It's very hard for us to image that someone would listen to a few radicals who are accusing and making false claims."
Sbenaty said it's like the Muslims in Murfreesboro have been attacked again.
"This community has been the victim of arson, has been the victim of vandalism and of mental and physical abuse," Sbenaty added, "Our children are bullied in school, and so on; so he should have listened to the concerns of the Muslim community."
Sbenaty said Herman Cain should be focusing on what's going on in Washington, and not what he called a "non-issue" here in Murfreesboro.
"He needs to be concerned with main issues that we can work together to address, such as unemployment, the economy and the budget deficit," Sbenaty said.
Cain had previously said he would not hire a Muslim to work in his administration if elected president.
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