A Muslim advocacy group has asked a grassroots club of San Diego Republicans to remove an “anti-Muslim” author from an upcoming program.

(Apr 02, 2014 – San Diego, CA) 

Full Article published here.

A Muslim advocacy group has asked a grassroots club of San Diego Republicans to remove an “anti-Muslim” author from an upcoming program.
The Navajo Canyon Republican Women Federated invited James Horn, a retired U.S. State Department officer and author of the book “Experiencing Islam: Becoming Islam-Aware,” to speak on the subject of Benghazi and Islam in America at the group’s April 8 meeting.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations claims Horn preaches anti-Muslim bigotry.
Horn describes Islam as a “cult, nothing more,” in a video of a 2007 speech that CAIR posted to YouTube.
“We are not dealing with fundamentalists or radical Moslems,” Horn says in the video. “We are dealing with honest Moslems, like Osama bin Laden, who is emulating Mohammed and doing what the Quran tells them to do. They are being faithful to their religion.”
In the same speech, Horn claims that a “Moslem lobby” has infiltrated the government and that Muslims “have thousands of bankers and lawyers increasingly in control of our everyday life.”
The Republican women’s group should recognize that Horn recycles old anti-Semitic tropes to malign American Muslims, said Hanif Mohebi, executive director of CAIR’s San Diego chapter.
“We ask that instead of hate-mongers like James Horn, Republican groups invite speakers who will promote mutual understanding, not religious and ethnic hatred,” Mohebi said.
The Navajo Canyon Republican Women Federated does not plan to cancel its invitation to Horn, said Marjie Siekerka, club president.
“We would like to hear all sides, so we’re going to hear him speak,” Siekerka said. “Our members will make up their own minds. I’m not trying to persuade anybody of anything.”
The group will not hear all sides if their only invitation is to Horn, Mohebi said.
“People have the right to speak, the right to criticize,” Mohebi said. “People have the right to bring up any comments, ideas, questions they may have. That should be encouraged, and we would love to see that kind of environment, but one-sided preaching hate is definitely not something that will benefit our community at all.”
Last summer, a 52-year-old man named Larry Michael Rodgers was arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats after he allegedly walked into a Clairemont mosque with his shoes on during morning prayers and began shouting, calling worshipers “terrorist rats” and saying “I’m going to kill all of you,” according to a U-T San Diego report.
A few months earlier, a man left threatening voicemails at the Islamic School of San Diego, including one that said “I’m going to throw a bomb at your [expletive] school.”
Those were among approximately 85 cases of civil discrimination reported to CAIR’s San Diego chapter in 2013.
Preaching hate the way Horn does could lead to that kind of behavior, and the women’s group should not want to be responsible for that, Mohebi said.
If the Navajo Canyon Republican Women Federated wants to make room for dialogue instead of a one-sided attack, they should invite a professor or someone else with a scholarly expertise on Islam.
“I hope that the women’s group is open to communication, open to dialogue, because we are,” Mohebi said.
The Navajo Canyon Republican Women Federated club, based in the Navajo neighborhoods of San Diego, has approximately 150 members, about half of whom show up to monthly speaker programs.
The club found Horn through a list of speakers maintained by the California Federation of Republican Women and its parent organization, the National Federation of Republican Women, Siekerka said.
CAIR has asked the national organization to reform its policies, which CAIR says have led to the promotion of bigotry at events featuring anti-Muslim speakers.
Jeremy Ogul is a staff writer with Mission Publishing Group. Have a news story or tip? Email him at jeremy@missionpublishinggroup.com and follow him on Twitter @jsogul.