GOP Longshot Herman Cain: I Would Discriminate Against Muslims

Herman Cain has virtually no chance of winning the GOP Presidential nomination, but he’s done a pretty good job of picking up on the GOP’s anti-Muslim theme:

KEYES: You came under a bit of controversy this week for some of the comments made about Muslims in general. Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

CAIN: No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.

The question that was asked that “raised some questions” and, as my grandfather said, “I does not care, I feel the way I feel.” I was asked, “what is the role of Islam in America?” I thought it was an odd question. I said the role of Islam in America is for those that believe in Islam to practice it and leave us alone. Just like Christianity. We have a First Amendment. And I get upset when the Muslims in this country, some of them, try to force their Sharia law onto the rest of us.

I’m still waiting for people like Cain to provide one concrete example of American Muslims, who represent less than 1% of the population of the United States, are “forcing” Sharia law onto any one. I’m also waiting for them to tell me how Sharia law could even be forced on anyone as long as we have a First Amendment. Until then, I’ll just assume this is really just all religious bigotry.

FILED UNDER: Islam, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jack says:

    Given how the Christianists are trying to force their laws onto the United States, it seems they are afraid of any competition.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    The Constitution is important…right up until they disagree with it. Then they fall all over themselves to toss it out.

  3. Kylopod says:

    And the Tea Party is merely about fiscal issues….

  4. I’m still waiting for people like Cain to provide one concrete example of American Muslims, who represent less than 1% of the population of the United States, are “forcing” Sharia law onto any one.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=US+Honor+Killing

    I agree Herman Cain is a biggot, but pretending there’s no one in the US muslim community that’s used force to make people abide by their religious views is ridiculous. A more serious point would be that it’s such a small percentage that it’s paranoid to try and punish all muslims for it, particularly since the biggest lesson from Europe is that socially isolating religious minorities encourages exactly the sort of radicalization Cain claims to be worried about.

  5. Stormy,

    And honor killings are more of a cultural artifact than a religious one. Even if they weren’t, though, that still isn’t proof of Sharia Law being imposed on anyone. That’s evidence of someone committing a crime for which, under the laws of the United States, they are punished.

    And you have a point about isolated minority groups being a problem, I’ve seen it myself here in Northern Virginia when Koreans tended to only associate with other Koreans and were taken advantage of by their own people. The thing is, when people like Cain denounce Islam at every turn they make it harder for American Muslims to assimilate.

  6. Ernieyeball says:

    ” I said the role of Islam in America is for those that believe in Islam to practice it and leave us alone. Just like Christianity.”
    Whatta dope!
    How many bills have been introduced to force teaching the religious tenet of Christian Creationism as science in public schools? That is hardly “leaving us alone”.

  7. Jason says:

    Doug,

    It’s anti-Radical Muslim’s in America theme. Get it right. It’s something people like you refuse to confront or event admit exists.

    Secondly, what’s worst — a candidate saying I will appoint a Muslim in my administration, which is to say I will appoint him for no other reason than he is a Muslim. Or to say, no I will not appoint a Muslim in my administration if for no other reason than he is a Muslim. One is pandering and the other is discrimination, as you put it. However, it’s both identity politics and I see it as wholly more honest to put it the way Cain did.

    I just see it as a prerogative and Mr. Cain is entitled to practice his.

  8. wr says:

    You’re right, Jason. The only two choices available are to promise to appoint Muslims or to promise not to appoint Muslims. There is absolutely no way a candidate could say he was going to appoint the best person for the job and their religion made absolutely no difference in the decision — as is demanded by the Constution, by the way. So let’s all cheer Cain for being honest about being a bigot. Maybe we should elect the head of Aryan Nations as our president, because he’s even more honest.

  9. cr says:

    Let me see if I understand this right, because you asked loaded question and Mr. Cain answered it honestly somehow that makes him a bad person. Answer me this, How many muslims has the muslim-lover-in-chief appointed? I don’t remember any of you main stream media types asking BHO about his affiliations with Bill Ayers(Terrorist), Jerimiah Wright(Liberation Theologist), and various communists/socialists/elite types he has appointed to his cabinet who by the way show distain for America or asking him if he would appoint a muslim to his cabinet. The fact of the matter is, muslims cannot agree to support the Constitution because their religion requires them to pledge allegiance to the koran and follow islamic law first, there is no separating the two. So by default their religion does exclude them from consideration.

  10. Jay Tea says:

    Let’s see… how about implementing the tenet of “kill the infidel?” Major Hassan comes to mind immediately, and all the other cases of Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

    Then there’s Unindicted Co-Conspirator CAIR, advising American Muslims to not cooperate with the FBI.

    West is a bit extreme on this, but not nowhere near as extreme as he is being portrayed.

    J.

  11. MM says:

    Unindicted Co-Conspirator

    *chug*

  12. Jason says:

    Examples are abundant throughout America of Sharia Law examples. Are you serious that you can’t find any examples? Really? What a farce the writer of this article is. Ever heard of Caliphate? Missouri? Florida? East coast states? Using defenses in the U.S. courts for killing a wife or kid(s)? Look it up and quit being intentionally ignorant. Facts are evidently irrelevant to some people.

  13. Gustopher says:

    Of course it’s religious bigotry. The only question is whether the rest of the Republican hopefuls will denounce, ignore, or one-up it. I’m betting on ignore (with a wink of support).

  14. sam says:

    @Jason

    “Examples are abundant throughout America of Sharia Law examples. Are you serious that you can’t find any examples? Really?”

    Some citations from you would be nice in support of whatever point it is you’re trying to make. However, see:

    Eugene Volokh, Islamic Agreements in Civil Courts, http://volokh.com/posts/1216332053.shtml

    Eugene Volokh, May Courts Interpret Contracts Under Religious Law (Islamic Law, Jewish Law, Canon Law, etc.)? , http://volokh.com/2010/10/20/may-courts-interpret-contracts-under-religious-law-islamic-law-jewish-law-canon-law-etc

    Eugene Volokh, Religious Arbitration of Civil Disputes, http://volokh.com/posts/1252693856.shtml

    Eugene Volokh, Islamic Law in U.S. Courts, http://volokh.com/2010/10/20/islamic-law-in-u-s-courts/

  15. sam says:

    Would Doug please spring my last comment from the moderation gaol? I think folks would find the subject matter interesting.

  16. wr says:

    Jay Tea — I’m thinking you’re not going to see a lot of cabinet appointments from any president who go around screaming “kill the infidel.” But you seem to believe that any Muslim believes in murdering non-Muslims. So keep telling us how you laugh off those accusations of racism, knowing in your heart you’re not a bigot…

  17. Jay Tea says:

    wr, I’ll put it in simple terms, just for you.

    No, not all Muslims are violent extremists. But speaking both on a percentage of the whole and as an absolute number, Muslims are far more likely to commit murder and other atrocities in the name of their god than any other religion. Further, the Koran and the Hadiths are filled with far more justifications for such acts than any other holy scripture. Finally, the “perfect man,” the main figure in the Koran, was a pedophilic psychopathic warlord who literally spread his “prophesies” by the sword. Not exactly a Jesus, a Moses, an Abraham.

    Clear enough for you, or should I simplify it more?

    J.

  18. Not exactly a Jesus, a Moses, an Abraham.

    Bear in mind that the whole reason Moses bumped into god in the first place was that he was laying low in the desert because of being a fugitive murderer.

  19. Jay Tea says:

    As an agnostic, Stormy, I’m in no great position to argue. But from my admittedly-vague recollections, Moses’ crime wasn’t exactly “murder” (if by no other standard than the classic Texas defense of “some people just need killing,” and a cruel slave overseer certainly fits that bill), and that was before God made something special out of him. Moses isn’t revered for that killing, but for all he did after that.

    Lemme go poke through Wikipedia to see if I’ve got that mostly right…

    Yeah, that was fairly close. So it’s a good point, but I’ll stand by it. Thanks for the challenge, Stormy. Never hurts to have a quick refresher.

    J.

  20. matt says:

    Jason : The radical muslim in America is statistically more likely to be turned in by their fellow muslims then to actually commit a crime. Why is that? Because unlike in Europe Muslims used to be well integrated into the American lifestyle so they (the Muslims) feel like they have an invested interest to keep America safe. Meanwhile people like you seem determinred to isolate Muslims as much as possible which will naturally destroy the feeling of investment and any motivation to turn radicals in to the authorities..

    No, not all Muslims are violent extremists. But speaking both on a percentage of the whole and as an absolute number, Muslims are far more likely to commit murder and other atrocities in the name of their god than any other religion

    Citation please

    Meanwhile in reality you’re far more likely to be murdered by a self professed Christian then a Muslim….

    Further, the Koran and the Hadiths are filled with far more justifications for such acts than any other holy scripture. Finally, the “perfect man,” the main figure in the Koran, was a pedophilic psychopathic warlord who literally spread his “prophesies” by the sword. Not exactly a Jesus, a Moses, an Abraham.

    Dude have you even read the bible? Seriously it supports killing people who aren’t the proper religion, it supports slavery, it supports forms of honor killings, it supports treating women like shit (including marrying minors)etc etc etc…

  21. wr says:

    Jay Tea — If you believe that Muslims should be forbidden from holding high office in the United States either because some other Muslims are violent extremists or because you disapprove of their holy book, then you are a bigot. It’s not complicated at all, and all your justifications of how evil all those Muslims are just prove the case further.

  22. daleyrocks says:

    “Jay Tea — If you believe that Muslims should be forbidden from holding high office in the United States”

    wr – Is that what Jay Tea said? I must have missed that. I thought he was responding to the reactions of others over what Cain said.

    A question was asked above that I have yet seen answered. How many Muslims has Obama appointed as judges or cabinet members? If he hasn’t appointed any, shouldn’t somebody ask him why? Is he discriminating as you would imply Cain would or has he just not found the right candidate?

    The fool asking for cites on crime stats need to get out more.

  23. Kylopod says:

    Pew Research did an extensive study on the views of American Muslims around 2003, comparing their views to those of their religious compatriots in other countries, and concluding they were among the least radical Muslims in the world. Among the findings:

    – A plurality of American Muslims (49%) think mosques should stay out of political matters.
    – An overwhelming majority reject terrorism and are concerned about the rise of Islamic radicalism.
    – 61% answer in the affirmative that “a way can be found for Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinian people can be taken care of.”

    The study did reveal, however, that fewer than half of American Muslims believe 9/11 was perpetrated by Arabs.

    Here is the study, in PDF form:

    http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf

  24. Jay Tea says:

    Jay Tea — If you believe that Muslims should be forbidden from holding high office in the United States either because some other Muslims are violent extremists or because you disapprove of their holy book, then you are a bigot. It’s not complicated at all, and all your justifications of how evil all those Muslims are just prove the case further.

    Well, then, wr, it’s a good thing I don’t believe that. In fact, I specifically said Cain went a bit too far — but understandably so. As usual, you’re ignoring what I’m actually saying and pretending that I fit into your narrow-minded, bigoted stereotypes, and getting angry when I refuse to play along.

    Their Holy Book is not for me to approve of or disapprove of — I’m not in the Holy Book approval business. I limit myself strictly to their actions, and the rationales they use for those actions. The actions of the extremists are extremely repugnant, and they always have very specific justifications from their holy writings at hand.

    For example, in the charter for Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, they specifically cite Hadith 176, Book 52, Sahid Bukhari Volume 4:

    The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree.

    That is from the charter (Article 7) of the legally-elected government of the Gaza Strip.

    And before you dig up historical examples from Christianity’s past, note that I am using the present tense. I’m talking about the here and now, not what might have happened centuries ago.

    I’m not going to bother asking if that makes it clearer to you, because you’re deliberately obtuse. I can only hope that the rest of the readers recognize you for the worthless hack you are.

    J.

  25. matt says:

    Dude I don’t have to dig up the past there’s plenty of examples that exist to this very day. Hell in every post where you get your Muslim hate on someone manages to post a different Christian crazy group I wasn’t aware of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Resistance_Army

    Ooh snap son it’s 7am I’ve had 2 hours of sleep and I’m heading out to work and then school so I don’t have time to list more..

    Have an excellent day friend!

  26. matt says:

    Frankly if you weren’t so biased against Muslims you’d see the similarities in extremists of all Abrahamic religions..

  27. Jay Tea says:

    Matt, keep digging. From your own link:

    The LRA’s ideology is disputed amongst academics.[23][25] While most academics and media outlets regard LRA as primarily a Christian militia,[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] the LRA reportedly evokes Acholi nationalism on occasion,[26] but the sincerity of this behavior is considered dubious by some observers.[27][28] During its brief alliance with the Muslim country of Sudan it also claimed to be Islamic as well, an apparent contradiction.[29]

    Robert Gersony, in a report funded by United States Embassy in Kampala in 1997, concluded that “the LRA has no political program or ideology, at least none that the local population has heard or can understand.”[30] The International Crisis Group has stated that “the LRA is not motivated by any identifiable political agenda, and its military strategy and tactics reflect this.”[31]

    They’ve apparently blended Christianity with animism, nationalism, Islam, and just plain old crazy into something that no one outside them can quite understand.

    Kind of like how certain liberals like to tell libertarians that they ought to move to Somalia, which they describe as “a libertarian paradise.” In both cases, the reality doesn’t quite fit the stereotypes, but that doesn’t stop folks from trying to fast-talk the discrepancies to make their political point.

    Oh, and you won’t find Christians around the world backing them — or, at least, saying “yes, it’s bad, but you have to understand how they’ve been pushed into this, and — hey, look over there! There’s someone you like doing something bad!”

    J.

  28. Jay Tea says:

    rankly if you weren’t so biased against Muslims you’d see the similarities in extremists of all Abrahamic religions..

    matt, when Christians and Jews start running up body counts in the thousands (and I’m talking now and in the future, not centuries ago), then I’ll worry about them then. I have this little trick I call “prioritizing.” If you like, I’ll explain to you how it works.

    J.

  29. wr says:

    Oh, Jay Tea, how funny to see you talking about anybody “digging.” Your continued argument comes down to this — since some Muslims are violent extremists, all Muslims should be considered to be violent extremists. And that is bigotry, no matter how many quotes you can pull from websites.

    As for the idea that I get mad at you, if it makes you feel good to think I care that much, knock yourself out.

  30. Jay Tea says:

    wr, I’m getting tired of correcting your rewrites.

    The vast majority of religiously-inspired and religiously-motivated killings in the last year have been in the name of Allah and Mohammed.

    Same for the past five years.

    Ten years.

    Twenty years.

    No, not all Muslims are dangerous extremists. But the vast majorityof dangerous extremists are Muslims.

    Just like most serial killers fit my profile. If there happens to be a series of murders in my neighborhood any time soon, I’m going straight to the police, tell them “I fit your profile, let’s get me off your suspect list so you can focus on the real killer.”

    I’m trying to decide if you’re genuinely dense, deliberately dense, or exemplifying what Churchill once described: An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

    But then I realized that I simply don’t care enough to want to find out.

    J.

  31. Jay Tea says:

    Also, I think it’s worth noting that Cain didn’t say he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim, but he “would not feel comfortable.” A fine distinction, but he spells out exactly why he feels that discomfort. I get the impression that if those concerns were satisfactorily addressed, Cain’s “bigotry” would disappear.

    I’ll admit he’s nowhere near as open-minded as Barack Obama, who put a confessed tax cheat in charge of the Treasury Department (which includes the IRS), but I actually see that as a plus.

    J.

  32. Jay Tea says:

    Further, I don’t like the term “bigoted” here. I think “prejudiced” fits better. Cain is pre-judging people based on one aspect of them.

    To me, though, it’s like saying that if I were a doctor, I’d be prejudiced to check for breast cancer in my female patients far more than in my male patients, even though it does afflict both sexes…

    J.

  33. matt says:

    Jay Tea : They are widely reguarded as Christian mysticism. The fundelmental problem here is you do everything you can to excuse Christian extremist including labeling them as non-CHristian while you paint every Muslim as being the same.

    Oh, and you won’t find Christians around the world backing them — or, at least, saying “yes, it’s bad, but you have to understand how they’ve been pushed into this, and — hey, look over there! There’s someone you like doing something bad!

    You won’t find Muslims backing the crazies in their religion either or do you prefer to ignore the proof that Kylopod posted?

    I find it funny and frustrating that you cannot see the double standard that you’ve created…

    matt, when Christians and Jews start running up body counts in the thousands (and I’m talking now and in the future, not centuries ago), then I’ll worry about them then. I have this little trick I call “prioritizing.” If you like, I’ll explain to you how it works.

    I’m sorry when is the statue of limitations on massacres? There’s currently several going on in Africa and Asia in the name of Christianity and obviously Srebrenica is something that shouldn’t be forgotten. I’m also guessing that what happened in Northern Ireland is too old too??

    National Liberation Front of Tripura

    Manmasi National Christian Army

    Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland

    The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord.

    Phineas Priesthood

    Army of God

    Church of Jesus Christ-Christian aka Aryan Nations

    I’m on break so I don’t have much time to spend looking this stuff up. It is pretty apparent that you cannot be bothered to spend 30 minutes looking up Christian terrorists groups that operate around the world. Instead you’d rather just pretend that the only religion with crazies is Islam. The reality is about every religion has terrorists hell there’s even some Buddhist terrorist groups..

  34. matt says:

    You won’t find Muslims backing the crazies in their religion either or do you prefer to ignore the proof that Kylopod posted?

    That should of read you won’t find a majority of Muslims backing the crazies in their religion either (especially in this country)

  35. matt says:

    The fact still stands that in the USA you’re MUCH more likely to be killed by someone that claims to be a Christian then by some Muslim in the name of Allah…

  36. Jay Tea says:

    The fact still stands that in the USA you’re MUCH more likely to be killed by someone that claims to be a Christian then by some Muslim in the name of Allah…

    Parallel construction fail.

    Wanna make it “you’re MUCH more likely to be killed by someone that claims to be a Christian in the name of God or Jesus then by some Muslim in the name of Allah?”

    Thought not.

    J.

  37. matt says:

    Oh I didn’t realize being killed by someone is different then being killed by someone in the name of their god.. The end result is somehow different?

  38. Jay Tea says:

    Well, matt, it plays into just how many other people might be inclined to emulate a religiously-inspired murder. We keep having these murders and attempted murders done in the name of Allah, and no one can seem to anticipate them, let alone curb them. That might suggest a problem to most people…

    J.

  39. matt says:

    Well, jay, it plays into just how many other people might be inclined to emulate a nut-inspired murder. We keep having these murders and attempted murders done in America by self proclaimed Christians, and no one can seem to anticipate them, let alone curb them. That might suggest a problem to most people

  40. matt says:

    In case I’m being too subtle..

    Your “problem” is a tiny tiny tiny drop in the bucket of yearly murders in this country.

  41. matt says:

    If you were serious about this “problem” then you’d be raging against extremists of all kinds instead of pretending that only Muslims are extremists..