DNC Calls on President Bush to condemn
Rep. Peter King's hate language
Washington, D.C.- (Feb. 12, 2004) Today the Democratic National Committee (DNC) called on President Bush and Republican leaders to repudiate remarks made Tuesday by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) accusing American Muslims of "extremist leadership," and saying that most American Muslims are unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement officials on homeland security matters. Rep. King made these comments in an interview on a nationally-syndicated radio program where he was promoting his new novel. King said his book is about future terrorist attacks by "Muslim extremists" in New York, and that the content is "half truth and half fiction."
"In the past, President Bush has told Muslim Americans that his administration does not condone bigotry," said DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "Muslim Americans are teachers, lawyers, doctors,
business owners who have made invaluable contributions to our country. President Bush has said `those who feel they can intimidate our fellow citizens and take out their anger… represent the worst of humankind.' That's why I am calling on President Bush and the Republican leadership to condemn this latest example of hate filled language.
"Peter King is using bigotry to make a buck, plain and simple," said DNC member Jim Zogby. "He does so showing no concern for the impact his remarks have on millions of decent, patriotic Arab and Muslim Americans. While in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the President urged Americans not to strike out against their Arab and Muslim neighbors; too many members and supporters of his own Administration have undercut that message using anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric to create fear and suspicion."
"By failing to condemn and demand apologies from John Ashcroft, General Boykin, Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham for their bigoted remarks, President Bush has undercut his own message and created a situation where some in his party now feel they have a presidential green light to spread a message of hate," said Zogby who also heads the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee. "One person could put a stop to all of this, and we call on President Bush to do the right thing and condemn those in his administration, in his party and those among his supporters who continue to spew anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry."