WGN TV: Islamic, Interfaith group respond to Walsh's controversial comments

The Muslim Community is responding to comments made by Congressman Joe Walsh (R) that they say are outrageous and reinforce racial stereotypes.

As he addressed supporters Wednesday night at a meeting in Elk Grove Wednesday, Rep. Walsh said a “politically correct” U.S. Government was so afraid of offending the Islamic community that it’s not doing its job to protect American citizens.

The comments sparked outrage among many Chicago area religious leaders, who held a news conference Friday morning at CAIR-Chicago headquarters to address the controversy.

The Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, along with members of the Muslim and interfaith communities met to denounce the comments made by Walsh.

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation said “In his remarks Congressman Joe Walsh made it clear where he stands– for hatred in public discourse”

Some of the speakers said Walsh’s comments represent a deeper problem within the Republican Party.

Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR-Chicago said “There is a problem that has to be addressed, I don’t know if they’re trying to sound like a racist backward party but the leadership needs to step up– but with hope and inspiration.”

“It’s not an accident that you see such a diverse group of people standing here… we are all alarmed at what the GOP is doing to this country,” Laith Saud, Professor, DePaul University Religious Studies said.

Rep. Walsh said he stands by his controversial remarks. “Look, we don’t have time to be politically sensitive here, there are people trying to kill Americans, the administration knows it, and congress knows it, CAIR should be concerned about that,” he said.

He also said his comments were not racist, “Most Muslims, just like most Christians, most everybody—are wonderfully, patriotic, loving, peaceful people. But there is a radical strain of Islam which is trying to hijack that religion.”