CAIR asks West Point to disinvite Anti-Islam Speaker
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today joined VoteVets.org, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, in asking the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to retract an invitation to retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin to speak at a prayer breakfast at the academy next month.
Boykin believes that “[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment,” that there should be “no mosques in America” and that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians. He is scheduled to speak at the West Point event on February 8.
In a letter sent today to Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon, superintendent of the academy, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“In his public speeches, Gen. Boykin promotes a host of false and misleading ‘facts’ about Islam, including claims that Muslims ‘curse Jesus’ when they pray and that ‘those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution.’ In reality, Muslims revere Jesus, and Islamic principles require Muslims to respect and follow the law of the land, in this case the Constitution.
“Mr. Boykin’s intolerant views do a disservice to our nation’s longstanding traditions of religious freedom and pluralism and could potentially harm our country’s interests and the security of our troops overseas. By providing a platform associated with West Point, Mr. Boykin’s hate-filled rhetoric would receive a level of credibility and legitimacy it does not deserve. We respectfully ask that you reconsider inviting him.”
CAIR and People For the American Way objected to a speech Boykin gave earlier today to a mayor’s prayer breakfast in Maryland. Hundreds of people contacted city officials to protest Boykin’s appearance.
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.