Zead Ramadan, the president of the board of directors for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) New York chapter appeared over the weekend on Iranian television, where he alleged that racism, bigotry and hatred are, collectively, America's "weakest point." He also derided the "extremist elements" in the U.S. who purportedly discriminate openly against Muslims.
"[There are] extremist elements in America who are not Muslim who believe that America should only be one color, one way of living and that's not what America's all about," he said in an audio interview broadcast on Press TV. "Some people think their religious rhetoric is just as extremist as the violent extremist radicals in Islam, which is they are intolerant to any other kind of ethnicity to any other kind of perspective on religion."
While Ramadan doesn't define the individuals who embrace this notion that allegedly bigoted Americans are comparable to violent Islamists, it appears as though he agrees with the sentiment. The CAIR leader goes on to say that this faction of undefined individuals is intolerant to cultures and religions that are unfamiliar to it. This, he said, has led to a troubled past for the U.S.
"That's why you see a history of bigotry in America, unfortunately," Ramadan proclaimed. "Whenever you think that America, the land of the free, is going to go beyond it, more intolerant extremist voices come out and it seems that they come out at the time of elections."
Ramadan went on in his commentary to compare the treatment of Muslims in America to the treatment of Jews at the hands of the Nazis in Germany. While he maintains that he doesn't see the U.S. heading down the same exact path, he contends that, "the comments that are being made against Muslims are very eerily echoing the comments that were made against Jews by Nazis."
The overall treatment of Muslims, Ramadan said, is "an insult to the U.S. Constitution." The CAIR leader went on to claim that America's weakest points lay in the "racism...bigotry [and] hatred" that exists within its borders. While these elements aren't present in the Constitution, Ramadan said that the are in a portion of the American people.
It is during election cycles that Ramadan claimed there are increases in attacks on and the exploitation of Muslims.
"We're seeing attacks on Muslims on the rise again because it's an election season," he told Press TV on Sunday. "Every time there is an election cycle, some people like Newt Gingrich, Santorum, and even Mitt Romney had made vary negative comments about Muslims and that makes people think that if someone is running for president, he could make negative comments and he is spreading negative rhetoric about Muslims… I think it's very dangerous."
Listen to these comments, below:
Just one day earlier, yet another CAIR official appeared on Press TV to make similar claims. The Investigative Project on Journalism has more:
Ramadan's message cannot be brushed off as a personal rant of one rogue leader. Just one day earlier, a similar theme was echoed by fellow CAIR-NY official, Cyrus McGoldrick, to the very same Iranian outlet.
In the Sunday interview, McGoldrick, the group's Civil Rights Manager, accused the FBI of using "tremendous resources" to demonize Muslim Americans and of not spending a "fraction" of the amount on real security measures.
They are using "tremendous resources, tremendous resources to spy on Muslims, to demonize Muslims, and to entrap Muslims. I think it would be great if they spent a fraction of that money, protecting Muslims and all American citizens," McGoldrick said.
Listen to McGoldrick's comments: