On Fox News Sunday this morning, Herman Cain calmly and succinctly took one of the hardest lines against Muslims in modern mainstream politics.
Islam is not a religion like other religions, he said, and Americans have the right to keep it out of their communities if they wish.
Show host Chris Wallace asked about the Murfreesboro, TN mosque project Cain took a stand against last week. The planned construction project will build a new home for a Muslim group that’s worshiped in the Tennessee town for three decades. But protesters say the group behind the mosque is trying to impose sharia law on America, and they’ve tied up the project in court for months.
Cain made it clear this morning he stands with the critics.
“Let’s go back to the fundamental issue,” Cain said. “Islam is both a religion and a set of laws — Sharia laws. That’s the difference between any one of our traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.”
“So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque…” Wallace began.
“Yes, they have the right to do that,” Cain said. “That’s not discriminating based upon their particular religion. There is an aspect of them building that mosque that doesn’t get talked about. And the people in the community know what it is and they’re talking about it.”
Cain also addressed his past controversies with Muslims, including his promise to be wary of Muslim applicants to his administration, lest they be terrorists.
That’s not discrimination, Cain insisted.
“Aren’t you willing to restrict people because of their religion?” Wallace asked.
“I’m willing to take a harder look at people who might be terrorists, that’s what I’m saying,” Cain replied. “Look, I know that there’s a peaceful group of Muslims in this country. God bless them and they’re free to worship. If you look at my career I have never discriminated against anybody, because of their religion, sex or origin or anything like that. “
“I’m simply saying I owe it to the American people to be cautious because terrorists are trying to kill us,” Cain continued, “so yes I’m going to err on the side of caution rather than on the side of carelessness.”
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