Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Blog

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is demonstrating an unwavering platform of anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail. On Fox News Sunday, Cain responded to a question from host Chris Wallace regarding the disputed construction of a mosque in the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee by insisting that Muslims do not qualify for constitutional protection of freedom of religion under the First Amendment. “Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it."

Although the construction of the proposed mosque in Murfreesboro has not garnered the same level of attention as Park 51 in New York, Muslims in the town have faced extensive opposition to its construction since last September. This has included acts of arson directed at construction equipment, and vandalism of mosque’s front sign by spray painting "Not welcome" on it and later breaking the sign in half.

Cain has decided to defend the protesters, contending that they have the right to ban the mosque in Murfreesboro on the premise that protesters are “objecting to the fact Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best, and I happen to side with the people in Murfreesboro.” 

Cain is struggling politically, as Chris Wallace noted during the interview, currently standing at one percent among likely caucus-goers in Iowa.  And as in the past, he is isolating and discriminating against the Muslim community to gain political recognition. As Adam Serwer noted in The Washington Post“if there’s an anti-Muslim primary underway, he is the clear frontrunner.”