US congressman asked to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks

Keith EllisonThe Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tonight called on Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks he made in a recent letter to a constituent.

Goode’s letter to the head of the local Sierra Club chapter slammed the planned use of a Quran for the ceremonial swearing-in of Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. (No religious texts of any kind are used for the official swearing-in ceremony.)

“I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way,” wrote Goode. “The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

Goode also decried the growth of the American Muslim community. He wrote, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America.” (Keith Ellison has traced his family’s roots in America to the year 1742.)

“Representative Goode’s Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry.”

CAIR news release, 19 December 2006