November 27th, 2007 12:30 EST
Romney Urged to Meet with Muslims
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to meet with American Muslim leaders following a controversy over a reported statement that he would not consider Muslims for cabinet posts.
According to commentator Mansoor Ijaz: "I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that 'jihadism' is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, '...based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.'"
SEE: Mitt and the Muslims (CBS)
Romney today clarified his remark, stating: "I said no, I don't think you need a Muslim in the Cabinet to take on radical jihad any more than we needed a Japanese American to understand the threat that was coming from Japan or something of that nature."
SEE: Romney Clarifies Answer on Muslims (NBC)
Romney has a history of singling out Islam and Muslims. In 2005, he advocated wiretapping U.S. mosques. Earlier this year, he released a campaign ad in Iowa entitled "Jihad," which CAIR said legitimized claims by terrorists that they are fighting on behalf of Islam.
SEE: Republicans Point to Islam, Democrats Take Different Tone (WSJ)
SEE ALSO: Romney's 'Jihad' Ad
"We believe that, based on Mr. Romney's past statements and on this more recent controversy, a meeting with American Muslim leaders would be of mutual benefit," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org