Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CAIR Wants Ellison Critic Removed from Holocaust Council

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Dennis Prager

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American Muslim News Briefs | Monday, December 04, 2006


WASHINGTON (AP) An Islamic civil rights group wants a columnist who criticized Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in next month removed from the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Monday that the comments by Dennis Prager, a columnist and conservative talk radio host, displayed an intolerance toward Islam that makes him an inappropriate person to serve on the memorial council.

Ellison, D-Minn., is the first Muslim elected to Congress.

In his column last week, Prager wrote: "Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

The Holocaust Memorial Council oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

"No one who holds such bigoted, intolerant and divisive views should be in a policy-making position at a taxpayer-funded institution that seeks to educate Americans about the destructive impact hatred has had, and continues to have, on every society," CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, wrote in a letter to the council's chairman, Fred Zeidman.

Messages left at the Holocaust Museum and at Zeidman's office were not returned Monday.

In a telephone interview Monday, Prager offered what he called "a solution to this that would satisfy me and the vast majority of Americans"--in other words, Ellison bringing a Bible with him along with his Quran.

"It's obviously up to Mr. Ellison to decide, but I don't think that forcing him to swear an oath on a book not of his faith is the answer," said [CAIR] spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said that although his group supports free speech, "When you are appointed by the president to a council whose mission is to combat hatred and bigotry, and you hold views that promote hatred and bigotry, there's a problem there."

By tradition, all members of the House are sworn in together on the House floor. It's in the photo-op ceremony that a Bible is used--or in Ellison's case, the Quran.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and racism, issued a statement calling Prager's comments "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American."

Was Prager right in calling for Rep. elect Ellison to be sworn in with a Bible rather than the Quran? Or is CAIR correct in calling Prager to step down from his position at the Holocaust Council? Is America truly a "Christian" country, or should we continue to make room for all faiths and beliefs? And what about in your area--have you encountered any negative comments about Muslims or heard of any discrimination against Muslims?

3 comentarios:

Jade said...

This is interesting. I wonder what Reza thinks about this...maybe Anderson will have him on the show.

I think that Prager sounds likes an ass. If Ellison prefers another holy book over the bible, which means more to him than placing his hand over a bible, then I think its fine with me.

You knew it wouldn't be too long before someone started in on the Muslim Democrat. Poor guy...

Anna M said...

Didn't Nixon get sworn in using a Quaker Bible?

courtney01 said...

I can't find anything that says the Bibles used at Nixon's inauguration were Quaker Bibles, but it's possible. The only thing I can find says he used two brown leather Bibles that were family heirlooms and each Bible was open to Isaiah 2:2-4, which says:

In the last days, the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem will become the most important place on earth. People from all over the world will go there to worship. 3 Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Israel.* There he will teach us his ways, so that we may obey him." For in those days the Lord's teaching and his word will go out from Jerusalem.

4 The Lord will settle international disputes. All the nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end. 5 Come, people of Israel, let us walk in the light of the Lord!


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